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Full text of "Scribner's monthly"

. w'"b; 




1 N 



A. Dean and Jean M. Larsen 
Yellowstone Park Collection 




mmmmmm 
AP 2 .C4 vol.3 no. 4 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



Mill 

3 1197 22091 2619 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/scribnersmonthly34newy 



Scribner's Monthly. 



Vol. III. 



FEBRUARY, 1872. 



No. 4. 



THE FOX-HUNTERS. 




" Untie the brave old hoim' whose voice 
Bays mellower than a meetin' bell ; 

Loose silk-ear' d Fan for me, my choice 
'Mong all the dogs in Beaver Dell ; — 

They're a pair to make the heart rejoice 
An' bound like a buck when* hunted well ! 



Vol. ITT. 



Gray Jasper hears his comrade call, 
And, whistling to his eager pack, 

Down snatches from the cabin-wall 
His rifle, hung on stag-horn rack ; 

Bids wife farewell till twilight-fall, 

And strides away on the red-fox track. 

O'er mountain-crest, 'cross lowland vale. 
Where Hero hotly leads the chase, 



3 $6 



THE FOX-HUNTERS. 




These bluff old woodsmen press the trail, 
Close Indian-file, with tireless pace — 

Till, hark! the fox-hound's deep-toned hail 
Proclaims the game on the home-stretch race. 

Athwart the brow of Chester Hill 
Scared Reynard, like a blazing sun, 

Flies on before his foes until, 

O'erleaping rock and ice-bound run, 

He draws the aim of Jasper Gill 
Along the barrel of his gun. 

The ledges ring to the rifle's crack ! 
The fatal bullet whistles past ! 




THE FOX-HUNTERS. 



comes echoing back 



A loud "halloo", 

To Bearskin Ben, on the rising blast 
A crimson stream bedyes the track ; — 

And Reynard strikes his flag at last ! 



387 




"Call in the dogs !" cries Jasper Gill; 

"The sport is done, the chase is o'er;- 
I've gi'n yon thievin' skulk a pill ! 

He'll rob my poultry-yard no more. 
Come, Ben, let's beat to the cabin sill, 

Where the old wife waits us at the door." 

Beside a roaring hickory blaze, 

With laugh and joke and rustic cheer, 

These glib-tongued cronies sound the praise 
Of dog and gun in Molly's ear, 

Till the old dame's needle almost plays 

A tune through her good man's hunting-gear 




3 88 



THE WONDERS OF THE WEST. 



THE WONDERS OF THE WEST— II. 

MORE ABOUT THE YELLOWSTONE. 




THE GREAT CAJfON AND LOWER FALLS OF THE YELLOWSTONE. 



The interesting accounts that have been 
given in this Monthly, from time to time, of 
the remarkable natural phenomena in the val- 
ley of the Yellowstone, have created a general 
interest throughout the country. 

During the past summer the writer enjoyed 
unusual facilities for exploring this singular 
region, and he gladly bears witness that the 
statements of Mr. Langford were in no re- 
spect exaggerated. Indeed, it is quite impos- 
sible for any one to do justice to the remark- 
able physical phenomena of this valley by any 
description, however vivid. It is only through 
the eye that the mind can form anything like 
an adequate conception of their beauty and 
grandeur. 

We may make our story more clear to 
our readers if we take as our starting-point 
Port Ellis, a beautiful frontier military post, 
located near the head of the fertile valley of 
he Gallatin. By the great kindness of the 
officers of that post, we were provided with 
all the outfit that was necessary for our adven- 
turous journey to the Yellowstone. On the 
15th of July last we commenced our winding 
way over the grassy hills that form the divide 



between the waters of the Missouri and Yel- 
lowstone. Our course was nearly due east 
for about thirty miles, when we came to the 
valley of the Yellowstone, and then we as- 
cended the valley for ten miles farther, and 
pitche 1 our permanent camp near Boteler's 
Ranch, close to the lower canon, and at the far- 
thest point to which it would be safe to go 
with our wagons. From this point we changed 
our mode of travel to pack-animals. Here 
began the more difficult part of our journey. 
The whole party were filled with enthusiasm 
to catch a glimpse of the wonderful visions 
of which we had already heard so much. Op- 
posite our camp were the Yellowstone moun- 
tains, with peaks rising 12,000 feet above the 
sea-level and 6,000 feet above the valley. For 
beauty and symmetry of outline I have never 
seen this range equaled in the Far West, and 
several members of the party, who were famil- 
iar with the mountains of Central Europe, were 
struck at once with the resemblance to the 
Alps. But we will continue our way up the 
valley, leaving behind us the lofty volcanic 
hills, which wall us in on each side, and enter 
the lower caiion. Here granite walls rise on 



MORE ABOUT THE YELLOWSTONE. 



3*9 




either side to the height of 
a thousand feet or more, 
and through the narrow 
gorge the river dashes with 
great velocity. The bright 
green color of the water, 
and the numerous ripples, 
capped with white foam, 
as the roaring torrent 
rushes around and over 
the multitude of rocks 
that have fallen from 
above into the channel, 
give a most picturesque 
view to the eye as we look 
from our lofty heights. 
Not the least attractive 
feature, and one that to 
us amounted to a won- 
der, was the abundance of 
fine trout which the river 
afforded. There seemed 
to be no limit to them, 
and hundreds of pounds' 
weight of the speckled 
beauties were caught by 
the different members of our party. But we 
cannot linger here, although the scenery is 
very attractive, so we hasten on to the 
Devil's Slide, or Cinnabar Mountain, as it 
is usually called. It is one of the singular 
freaks of nature which occur very seldom 
in the West ; is formed of alternate beds of 
sandstone, limestone, and quartzites, elevated 
to a nearly vertical position by those internal 
forces which acted in ages past to lift the 
mountain ranges into their present heights. 
As we stand at the base and look up the sides 
of the mountains, we are filbd with wonder at 
the apparent evidences of the convulsions of 
nature which could have thrown 3,000 to 5,000 
feet in thickness of rocks into their present 
position. Ridge after ridge extends down the 
steep sides of the mountain like lofty walls, 
the intervening softer portions having been 
washed away, leaving the harder layers pro- 
jecting far above. At one locality the rocks 
incline in every possible direction, and are 
crushed together in the utmost confusion. 
Between the 'walls at one point is a band of 
bright brick-red clay, which has been mistaken 
for cinnabar, and hence the name of the 
mountain. The most conspicuous ridge is 
composed of basalt, and the igneous material 
was poured out on the surface when all the 
rocks'were in a horizontal position during the 
Jurassic period. Indeed, all the rocks are 
either of the Carboniferous, Jurassic, or Creta- 
ceous age. During the day we passed many 



liATHlNG-POOLS ; (DIANA'S BATH). 

examples of volcanic action, which in any other 
region would have excited attention. Small 
lakes, covered with wild fowl and fringed, with 
a luxuriant growth of vegetation, occupied 
the old volcanic craters. On the evening ol 
the third day, as we came to the junction of 
Gardiner's River, the warm springs began tc 
appear near the edge of the stream. The white 
calcareous deposit, which always indicates, 
that those springs do exist, or have existed, 
covered the bottom, and from underneath this 
crust a stream poured a volume of water into 
the river, six feet wide and two feet deep, with 
a temperature of 130 . A little farther up 
the stream were a number of hot springs of 
about the same temperature, with nearly cir- 
cular basins six to ten feet in diameter and two 
to four feet deep. Around them had already 
gathered a number of invalids, who were liv- 
ing in tents, and their praises were enthusiastic 
in favor of the sanitary effects of the springs. 
Some of them were used for drinking and 
others for bathing purposes. 

From the river our path led up the steep, 
sides of the hill for about one mile, when we 
came suddenly and unexpectedly in full view 
of the springs. This wonder alone, our whole 
company agreed, surpassed all the descriptions 
which had been given by former travelers. In- 
deed, the Langford party saw nothing of this. 
Before us arose a high white mountain, looking 
precisely like a frozen cascade. It is formed 
by the calcareous sediment of the hot springs. 



39° 



THE WONDERS OF THE WEST. 



precipitated from the water as it flows clown 
the steep declivities of the mountain side. 
The upper portion is about one thousand feet 
above the waters of Gardiner's River. The 
surface covered with the deposit comprises 
from three to four square miles. The springs 
now in active operation cover an area of about 
one square mile, while the rest of the territory 
is occupied by the remains of springs which 
have long since ceased to flow. We pitched 
our cam]) upon a grassy terrace at the base of 
the principal group of active springs. Just in 
the rear of us were a series of reservoirs or 
bathing-pools, rising one above the other, semi- 
circular in form, with most elegantly scalloped 
margins composed of calcareous matter, tjie 
sediment precipitated from the water of the 
spring. The hill, which is about two hundred 
feet high, presents the appearance of water 
congealed by frost 
as it quickly flows 
down a rocky de- 
clivity. The deposit 
is as white as snow, 
except when tinged 
here and there with 
iron or sulphur. 
Small streams flow 
down the sides of 
the snowy moun- 
tain, in channels 
lined with oxide of 




TRAVELING IN THE YELLOWSTONE COUNTRY, 



iron colored with the most delicate tints of 
red. Others present the most exquisite 
shades of yellow, from a deep bright sulphur 
to a dainty cream-color. In the springs 
and in the little channels is a material like 
the finest Cashmere wool, with its slender 
fibers floating in the water, vibrating with 
the movement of the current, and tinged 
with various shades of red and yellow, as 
bright as those of our aniline dyes. These 
delicate wool-like masses are undoubtedly 
plants, which seem to be abundant in all the 
hot springs of the West, and are familiar to 
the microscopist as diatoms. Upon a kind 
of terrace covering an area of two hundred 
yards in length and fifteen in width are several 
large springs in a constant state of agitation, 
but with a somewhat lower temperature than 
the boiling-point. The hottest spring is 162 ; 
others are 142 , 155 , and 156 , respectively. 
Some of them give off the odor of sulphu- 
retted hydrogen quite perceptibly. A quali- 
tative analysis shows the water to contain 
sulphuretted hydrogen, lime, soda, alumina, 
and a small amount of magnesia. It is beau- 
tifully clear, and slightly alkaline to the taste. 
The water after rising from the spring ba- 
sins flows down the sides of the declivity, step 
by step, from one reservoir to the other, at 
each one of them losing a portion of its heat, 
until it becomes as cool as spring- water. 
Within five hundred feet of its source our 
large party camped for two days by 
the side of the little stream formed 
by the aggregated waters of these 
hot springs, and we found the 
water most excellent for drinking 
as .well as cooking purposes. It was 
perfectly clear and tasteless, and 
harmless in its effects. During our 
stay here all the members of our 
party, as well as the soldiers com- 
prising our escort, enjoyed the lux- 
ury of bathing in these most ele- 
gantly carved natural bathing- 
pools, and it was easy to select, 
from the hundreds of reservoirs, wa- 
ter of every variety of temperature. 
These natural basins vary some- 
what in size, but many of them are 
about four by six feet in diameter, 
and one to four feet in depth. With 
a foresight worthy of commenda- 
tion, two men have already pre- 
empted 320 acres of land covering 
most of the surface occupied by the 
active springs, with the expectation 
that upon the completion of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad this will 



MORE ABOUT 1 HE YELLOWSTONE. 



39 1 




eling over the 
Far West will 
think of neglect- 
ing this most 
wonderful of the 
physical phenomena of that most interesting 
region. 

The level or terrace upon which the princi- 
pal active springs are located is about midway 
up the sides of the mountain covered with the 
sediment. Still farther up are the old ruins 
of what must have been Dt some period of the 
past even more active springs than any at 
present known. The sides of the mountain 
.for two or three hundred feet in height are 
covered with a thick crust of the calcareous 
deposit, which was originally ornamented with 
the most elegant sculpturing all over the sur- 
face, like the bathing-pools below. But at- 
mospheric agencies, which act readily on the 
lime, have obliterated all their delicate beauty. 
Chimneys partially broken down are scattered 
about here and there with apertures varying 
in size from two inches to two feet in diame- 
ter. Long, rounded ridges are also quite nu- 
merous, with fissures extending the entire 
length, from which the boiling water issued 
forth and flowed over the sides. Thus the 
sediment was continually precipitated in thin 



oval layers, so that a sec- 
tion of these oblong chim- 
neys presents the appear- 
ance of layers of hay in a 
stack, or the thatched cab- 
in of a peasant. Some of 
these chimneys were un- 
doubtedly formed by gey- 
sers, now extinct ; others 
by what may be called 
spouting-springs, as those 
which are in a constant 
state of violent ebullition, 
throwing the water up two 
to four feet — a phenome- 
non intermediate between 
a boiling-spring and a true 
geyser. The water is forced 
up through an orifice in 
the earth by hydrostatic 
pressure, and overflowing, 
precipitates the sediment 
around it; and thus, in time, 
it builds up a mound varying in height accor- 
ding to the force of this pressure. One of 
these cones is very remarkable, surpassing 
any observed in any other portion of the West. 
From its peculiar form we almost involun- 
tarily named it the " Liberty Cap." It is 
entirely composed of carbonate of lime, in 
flexible cap-like layers, with a diameter at the 
base of fifteen feet, and. a height of about 
forty feet. It is completely closed over at the 
summit. This is probably an extinct geyser, 
and was the most powerful one of this group. 
Sometimes the orifice is in the form of 
a fissure ioo to 300 feet in length, and the 
mound built up by the deposition of the sedi- 
ment will be of oblong shape. As the mound 
rises, the hydrostatic force diminishes, until 
finally the spring entirely conceals itself at 
the summit, and either becomes extinct or 
flows out through fissures in the sides. Classed 
with reference to their chemical constituents, 
there are two kinds of springs in the valley of 
the Yellowstone, viz. : those in which lime 
predominates, and those in which silica is most 
abundant. In respect to beauty of form, the 
calcareous springs build up monuments that 
far surpass the others. The stalactites and 
beautiful fresco-work in the Mammoth Cave 
of Kentucky are precipitated from springs 
holding a great amount of lime in solution. 
The remarkable forms which lime is caused to 
assume through the influences of water is well 
shown in all limestone regions. 

The scenery in the vicinity of these hot 
springs is varied and. beautiful beyond de- 
scription. I have already stated that they 



; 9 2 



THE WONDERS OF THE WEST. 




are located 1,000 
Sb» feet above the 
channel of the 
Yellowstone, and 
thus command a 
very extended 
view up and down 
the valley. To the north the Devil's Slide can 
be distinctly seen, while on either side the 
mountains rise to the height of 2,000 feet, in- 
closing the valley as with gigantic walls. From 
the summit still higher, piercing the clouds, are 
numerous basaltic peaks, presenting a great 
variety of unique forms. To the eastward 
is a bluff wall composed of 1,200 to 1,500 
feet of strata, revealing one of the most per- 
fect geological sections observed in the 




THE FIRST BOAT ON YELLOWSTONE LAICE. 



West. On the summit is a thick cap of ba- 
salt which extends up Gardiner's River, and 
forms the floor over which the waters of the 
east, middle, and west forks of that stream 
flow, and dash down in most beautiful cas- 
cades. 

In the sides of the canons of these branches 
are rows of basaltic columns as perfect as 
those so familiar to all who have visited Fin- 
gal's Cave in StarTa. In all my explorations 
in the Far West I have never seen such ex- 
quisite exhibitions of this semi-crystallized 
structure. Between the middle and west 
forks stands the dome-like form of Mount 
Everts, clothed with a dense growth of pines, 
its summit covered with fragments of basalt. 
From its top the view is grand, reaching over 
a radius of fifty to one hundred miles in every 
direction. On the west are the higher ranges 
of mountains about the sources of the Galla- 
tin and Missouri forks, with their loftiest peaks 
covered with perpetual snow. 

We must not linger here, however, amid 
these impressive scenes, but wind our way up 
the valley in search of more wonders. These 
will meet us in rapid transition from step to 
step. We can only stop a moment to glance 
at one of the greatest beauties of the valley 
— Tower Falls, or Tower Creek, where the 
water makes a verbal descent of 156 feet. 
On either side the somber brecciated columns 
stand like gloomy sentinels. But an excel- 
lent description of these falls has been given 
in a former number of this Monthly. 

Near this point the Grand Canon of the 
Yellowstone River commences, and continues 
about thirty miles to the Great Falls. In 
some respects this canon is the greatest won- 
der of all. The river has carved out a chan- 
nel through the basalt volcanic breccia and 
hot spring deposits, one thousand to twelve 
hundred feet deep and one to two thousand 
feet in width, at the bottom of which the water 
foams along with torrent like rapidity. But 
the striking feature of this remarkable view is 
the effect of colors derived from the hot 
spring deposits, which have a brilliancy like 
the most delicate of our aniline dyes. None 
but an artist with a most delicate percep- 
tion of colors could do justice to the pic- 
ture. The well-known landscape painter, 
Thomas Moran, who is justly celebrated for 
his exquisite taste as a colorist, exclaimed, 
with a sort of regretful enthusiasm, that these 
beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human 
art. Between the Upper and Lower Falls a 
fine stream, called Cascade Creek, empties 
into the Yellowstone. Standing upon the 
east margin of the canon one can look up 



MORE ABOUT THE YELLOWSTONE. 



393 



the channel of this little creek a 
few hundred feet and enjoy a full 
view of Cascade Falls, which have 
given the name to the creek. The 
water as it pours over a succes- 
sion of basaltic steps separates 
into a number of little streams, 
giving to the whole view a most 
pleasing effect. Above the Falls 
the river seems to flow quietly 
lilong over the surface but little 
below the general level, and here 
it may be said to present some 
of its finest and most attractive 
views. If below the Falls this 
river surpasses all others in the 



rugged 



grandeur, =s 



West for its 

above the Falls it excels in pictu 

resque beauty. 

About half a mile above the Falls on this 
creek the gorge is so narrow and deep that 
the traveler looks down from the margin above 
into an abyss so dark and forbidding that a 
very appropriate name comes almost involun- 




RL'INS OF HOT SPRINGS AND GEYSERS 




THE DEVIL'S DEN. 



tariiy to one's lips 
— the "Devil's 
Den." The sides of I W^ 

the gorge are very rugged, composed of angu- 
lar masses of basalt and obsidian cemented 
with volcanic ashes. There is also a large 
amount of sulphur mingled with the ashes, 
so that the debris looks like the remains of an 
old furnace. On either side of the river, 
as we .ascend the valley, are remarkable 
groups of hot springs. There is a singular 
group on the south side of Mount Washburn, 
which is well worthy of the attention of the 
traveler. The deposit formed by these springs 
extends across the Yellowstone River and oc- 
cupies a large area. Most of these springs 
contain clear water, but there are several 
which are called mud springs. These mud 
springs do not differ in their origin from the 
others. Some are what may be called dead 
springs, as those which have passed the pe- 
riod of their activity and now are filled with 
turbid water. Others are in a constant state 
of agitation, and may be called living springs, 
while others at certain periods throw out great 
quantities of mud, and may be called mud 
geysers. There is every grade, from simply 
turbid water to thick mud. The superficial 
deposits here are composed of basalts and hot 
spring deposits, as silica and feldspar. And 
as the aperture through which the hot water 
reaches the surface sometimes extends a con- 
siderable distance through this material, it is 
dissolved from the sides of the passage, arid, 
mingling with the boiling water, becomes in 
due time much like boiling mush. Whenever 
the mud becomes so thick as to close up the 
orifice for any length of time, a sort of explo- 
sion takes place, which sometimes hurls masses 
of the mud to the height of fifty or one hun- 



394 



THE WONDERS OF THE WEST. 




YELLOWSTONE LAKE. 



d red feet. ■ At "Mud Springs" and "Crater 
Mountains" there are several of these mud 
springs, with basins varying in size from a few 
inches to thirty feet in diamster, mostly with 
circular rims and funnel-shaped orifices. 

The most interesting of the mud springs 
occur in the valley of the Fire-Hole Creek. 
Some of them are filled with very black mud, 
others a brownish clay ; but in a few instances 
the mud has the snowy whiteness which is due 
to the decomposition of the silica deposited 
from the hot waters. To heighten the effect, 
it is also tinged with the bright red from the 
oxide of iron. Some of these may.be called 
alum springs, from the fact that the mud is 
composed largely of alum. Sometimes there 
will be a group of fifteen or twenty of these 
little mud springs, with orifices from two to six 
inches in diameter, all of them operating at 
the same time with a low thud-like noise. 

We made our first camp on the northeast 
shore of the Lake, near the point where the 
river takes its departure from it. Here we 
had one of the finest views of this beautiful 
sheet of water. This portion of the Lake is 
about ten miles wide. Oar camp was located 




GREAT SPRING, EIRE-HOLE BASIN. 



in a broad, open, meadow-like space, with the 
grass two feet or more in height, adorned with 
bright flowers having a great variety of colors. 
A dense growth of pine surrounded it, and to 
the eastward the range of forest-covered hills 
was 1,200 to 1,800 feet above the Lake. 
At this place we launched our little boat, 
which was destined to perform most excellent 
service. We had transported the framework 
on the back of a mule from Fort Ellis. We 
covered the frame with a heavy canvas, 
which rendered it perfectly water-tight, and 
with this little craft, twelve feet long, three and 
a half feet wide, and twenty-two inches high, 
the entire length and breadth of the Lake 
was navigated many times. Soundings of the 
Lake were made in every direction, and the 
greatest depth discovered was three hundred 
feet. Messrs. Elliott and Carrington made a 
survey of the shore-line from the boat, and, 
with the numerous bays and indentations, they 
estimated the distance to be about one hun- 
dred and seventy-five miles. So far as beauty 
of scenery is concerned, it is probable that 
this lake is not surpassed by any other on the 
globe. There is not space in the present ar- 
ticle to make more than this 
passing allusion to it ; but 
we hope at some future time 
to do more ample justice to 
this region, and trust that 
the few isolated facts which 
we now skim from the sur- 
face will sharpen curiosity 
for the complete account. 

While some were making 
an exploration of this beau- 
tiful lake, the writer, with a 
small party, made a trip over 
the high divide between the 
waters of the Yellowstone 



MORE ABOUT THE YELLOWSTONE. 



395 



and Missouri Rivers into the Fire-Hole Basin. 
We had already encountered many of the diffi- 
culties attendant upon traveling in this rocky 
and densely wooded region, but we were not 
prepared for the impediments which seemed 
to block our pathway everywhere. We were 
without a guide, and endeavored to make our 
courses- with a compass. The autumnal fires 
.sweep through the dry pines at times so that 
many square miles are covered with dead 
trees. These are soon blown down by the 
winds, and their long bodies are lodged upon 
each other in every possible direction. Some- 
times these fallen pines are piled up in a sort 
of irregular net-work, for six or eight feet in 
height, presenting insurmountable obstacles in 
the way of the traveler. Then again the 
small pines grow so thickly that it seems 
almost impossible to find an interval between 
so wide as to admit a pack-animal with his 
load. The traveler may thus wind about 
among the fallen pines or the dense growth of 
living trees for an entire day, and yet at night 
find that he has not made a distance of more 
than five or six miles in a straight line. After 
encountering many obstructions, we arrived at 
the Fire-Hole Basin, and spent five days in 
exploring its wonders, making charts, sketches, 
photographs, and taking the temperatures of 
the springs. The boiling-point of water at 
this elevation is about 192 to 196°. We as- 
certained the temperatures of more than six 
hundred hot springs in this valley, and there 
were as many more that were dying out, to 
which we did not think it worth while to give 
our attention. Many also must have been over- 
looked by us ; so that within an area of about 
five miles square we may estimate the exist- 
ence of about 1,200 to 1,500 springs, with ba- 
sins of all sizes, from a few inches in diameter 
to three hundred feet. The springs in this 
valley are of three kinds, but varying much 
in their active power : 1st, those in which the 
ebullition occurs only at intervals, and which 
may therefore be called intermittent springs ; 
2d, such as are constantly boiling and bubbling 
up, therefore permanent springs; 3d, those 
whose surface is always undisturbed, and in 
which there is no bubbling or boiling up. The 
first class reach the boiling-point only when 
in operation — when in a state of repose the 
temperature of the water is as low as 150 . 
The second class have a temperature equal 
to boiling water, or not far below it— in this 
region, varying from i8o°'to 196 . Some of 
the largest of the springs are in a constant 
state of agitation. One of the largest in the 
Fire-Hole Basin is represented in the accom- 
panying sketch. The basin is about two hun- 



dred feet in diameter, and the sides of the 
crater, which have been much broken down, 
are about thirty feet deep. The crater is so 
filled with dense steam that it is only at peri- 
odical times that it is cleared away so' that 
one can catch a glimpse of the seething cal- 
dron below. From one side of it five streams 
of water are ever flowing, which in the aggre- 
gate form a river ten feet wide and two feet 
deep. The delicate shades of coloring from 
the iron and sulphur are most finely displayed 
upon the surface over which this water flows. 
But perhaps the most striking exhibition of 
Nature's forces in this wonderful region is that 
of the "Grand Geyser," which is well shown 
in the accompanying illustration. While we 
were in the Fire-Hole Valley this geyser play- 
ed only at intervals of about thirty-two hours ; 
but when it was in active operation the display 
was grand beyond description. As we stood 




THE GREAT GEYSER OF THE FIRE-HOI.E BASIN. 



39 6 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



near the crater or basin, it threw up, with 
scarcely any preliminary warning, a column 
of hot water eight feet in diameter to the 
height of two hundred feet ; and so steady 
and uniform did the force act, that the col- 
umn of water appeared to be held there for 
some minutes, returning into the basin in 
millions of prismatic drops. This was con- 
tinued for about fifteen minutes, and the rumb- 
ling and confusion attending it could only be 
compared to that of a charge in battle. The 
steam poured out in immense masses, rising 
in clouds a thousand feet or more in height. 
After the Grand Geyser had ceased playing 
(he water of the basin retired from the sur- 
face, and the temperature fell gradually to 
150 . Another geyser in the same group, 
and named by the Langford party " Old 
Faithful," was far more accommodating, and 
played at intervals of only an hour, throw- 
ing up a column of water at least six feet in 



diameter and one hundred and fifty feet high, 
for a period of about fifteen minutes. The 
ease with which this column of water was sus- 
tained at the great height during the period 
of its operation rendered it a marvel of beauty 
as' well as of power. 

We may say, in conclusion, that we have 
been able in this article to do little more than 
to allude to a few of the wonderful physical 
phenomena of this marvelous valley. We 
pass with rapid transition from one remarka- 
ble vision to another, each unique of its kind 
and surpassing all others in the known world. 
The intelligent American will one day point 
on the map to this remarkable district with 
the conscious pride that it has not its parallel 
on the face of the globe. Why will not Con- 
gress at once pass a law setting it apart as a 
great public park for all time to come, as has 
been done with that not more remarkable 
wonder, the Yosemite Valley ? 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 




BRIGHAM YOUNG. 



The traveler across the continent has his 
attention drawn to the Mormons and Mor- 
monism in a singular manner just before en- 
tering the Salt Lake Valley. The Pacific 
Railroad passes the Wahsatch Mountains 
through the deep gorges known as Echo and 
Weber Canons. On the left the hills slope 
away so gradually as to present nothing of ex- 
traordinary interest. But on the right hand 
the rocks tower almost perpendicularly to the 
height of a thousand feet or more. Of gran- 
ite, sandstone, and conglomerate, they have 



presented an unequal resistance to the attacks 
of the weather, rain-storms, blasts of sand, 
and alternate heat and frost, so that they rise 
here in solid walls, and there in detached 
masses, presenting the appearance of castles, 
cathedrals, columns, domes, and spires, on a 
scale so grand as to cast the most ambitious 
attempts of human art and skill entirely into 
the shade. Not even Ehrenbreitstein is worth 
naming in comparison. Among the pictu- 
resque objects thus presented, " Hanging 
Rock," the "Witches' Rocks," and "Pulpit 
Rock " are conspicuous. But while gazing 
upon these sublime " sentinels of the sky," 
one's attention is arrested by piles of smaller 
rocks on the lofty edge of these towering 
heights, and he is informed that they are the 
" Mormon fortifications !" 

It appears that when, in 1857, the United 
States Government first determined to station 
a military force in Utah, Brigham Young fore- 
saw that it would frustrate all his plans for the 
isolation of the Latter-day Saints from the Gen- 
tiles. He therefore resolved to resist the 
movement, and, for this purpose, fortified the 
pass of the Wahsatch Mountains at Echo 
Canon. The old emigrant road lay along the 
foot of these frowning walls, and Brigham, 
posting his men on the heights where they 
commanded the road, had extensive supplies 
of rocks brought to the edge of the precipice, 
which were to be rolled down on the advanc- 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



397 



ing troops. Wiser and more 
peaceful counsels prevailed, 
however, and these munitions 
of war now serve as monu- 
ments of folly. 

But we are soon passing by 
the farms of Mormon settlers, 
and by the time we reach Og- 
den, the point of junction be- 
tween the eastern and western 
lines of the Pacific road, curi- 
osity leads us to switch off upon 
the Utah Central, of which the 
prophet Brigham is president, 
for a visit to the holy city of 
the Mormons. 

The new and yet small city 
of Oi<den is situated at the 
mouth of Ogden Canon, one 
of the gorges of the Wahsatch 
Mountains, and the ride thence 
to Salt Lake City .is one of 
thirty-eight miles southward, 
between the great Salt Lake 
on the west and the snow- 
covered steeps of the Wah- 
satch on the east. 

Great Salt Lake is an exten- 
sive inland sea, being one hun- 
dred and twenty miles in length, 
and in some portions sixty 
miles in breadth. It receives the waters of 
the Bear River, Green River, and " the Jor- 
dan," which runs northerly from Utah Lake, 
swollen as they are annually by rains and the 
melting snows of the Rocky and Wahsatch 
Mountains, yet " has no outlet and no life." 
The evaporation during summer suffices to 
restore the equilibrium, and the water is so 
charged with salt that in the autumn the pure 
crystallized mineral is found on the margin of 
the lake in a stratum eighteen inches deep. 

The capital of the Territory is about six- 
teen miles east of the southern extremity of 
the lake, and near the river Jordan. It is built 
on the slope where the great plain rises to the 
foot-hills of the Wahsatch. This snow-tipped 
range, on the east, runs like a wall from far 
north to far south, the lofty ridges of the 
Oquarra stud the western horizon seventy 
miles distant, and the broad plain stretches 
hundreds of miles away to the south. The 
situation is thus one of the most picturesque 
and beautiful that can be imagined. 

The city, which has a population of about 
fifteen thousand, is so laid out that the streets, 
at right angles with each other, coincide with 
the cardinal points of the compass ; and of 
the one hundred and eighty blocks thus 




A WAGON-LOAD OF MORMONS AT OGDEN CANON. 

formed, each one contains a plot of ten acres, 
while this square is again subdivided, by lines 
crossing at the center, into four " corner 
building-lots," of two and a quarter acres 
each. 

The streets are broad and without pave- 
ment. Between the carriage-way and side- 
walk is a shallow ditch filled with running 
water, which surrounds every block in the 
city, and serves to irrigate the gardens and 
lawns which are the charm of the town. This 
water is brought from the mountains and dis- 
tributed at the highest point of the city during 
the season, and when winter approaches it is 
turned in another direction, to prevent the in- 
convenience of its freezing in the streets. 

The townspeople thus have fine opportuni- 
ties for establishing a skating-rink ! and the 
wonder is that, among all the other facilities 
for amusement (which include a racing-park 
and a theater), the "rink" has not been in- 
troduced. It would be an "edifying" sight 
to behold the venerable and patriarchal head 
of all the Mormons engaged in skating with 
his numerous wives and progeny ! — quite 
equal to that which is presented in the " Fami- 
ly Boxes" they are wont to occupy at the 
theater. 



39» 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 




Among the principal 
buildings are several 
very fine private resi- 
dences, a number of 
large warehouses, the City Hall, Theater, the 
Episcopal church, the residence of Brigham 
Young, the New Tabernacle, and the Temple. 
It seems evident that " the President," as 
Brigham Young is styled by the faithful, origi- 
nally intended to adopt the style of an Ori- 
ental monarch in more respects than one. 
The ten-acre block on which he resides is 
surrounded with a wall some ten feet high. 
Within this inclosure are three houses, which 
serve as residence, office, and harem of the 
prophet ; a museum, which is his private 
property, and the " Tithing Office," in rear 
of which is an extensive yard, with sheds for 
the accommodation of the teams which come 
in from the plains loaded with the "tenth of 
all the increase." 

The new Tabernacle is a monster in size 
and a monstrosity of architecture. Elliptical 
in shape, it will seat from fifteen to twenty 
thousand people, and on a series of low brick 
walls, broken by so many doors that they are 
rather a succession of piers, sits an immense 
oval dome, like an old-fashioned "cover" 
over a large Thanksgiving turkey. 

The edifice is furnished with an organ, 
clumsy in appearance, not very excellent in 
tone, but the largest in this country, with the 
exception of that in Music Hall, Boston. 
The organ stands at one extremity of the el- 
lipse, behind four circular rows of seats, which 
are occupied by the dignitaries of the church. 
The highest seat is occupied by Brigham 
Young and his two " Assistant Presidents." 
The next range below accommodates the 
twelve apostles ; the two lower tiers are for 
the numerous bishops, elders, and other offi- 



cials, while the galleries and seats on the floor 
of the house are for the people generally. 
Strangers are always ushered into a pew by 
themselves, not as a matter of honor, but 
that they may be conveniently seen and direct- 
ly addressed by the occupants of the pulpits. 

But the Temple is the wonder of the city. 
This edifice, which is to contain, among other 
things, a throne for the Messiah, " when he 
shall descend and reign upon the earth," is to 
cover much less space than the Tabernacle. 
The order of architecture is peculiar to itself, 
yet has a Gothic appearance, and the edifice 
is to be built of granite from foundation to 
the topmost spire. The walls are now about 
six feet above the surface. When they were 
level with the ground a million dollars had 
been expended upon them, and when com- 
pleted the whole structure is to cost ten mil- 
lions ! These figures are given on Mormon 
authority. But it is hard to believe that the 
managers of the affair have not been taking 
lessons in the art of building from certain of- 
ficials in New York City. 

The city is divided into " wards," both civil 
and religious. There are five of the former, 
with each its alderman and other officials, 
who, with the Mayor, constitute the city gov- 
ernment ; and of the religious or "church 
wards " there are twenty in the city, while in 
the Territory there are about one hundred. 
Each of these church wards has its church edi- 
fice, or place for holding meetings, and its bish- 




PULPIT ROCK, ECHO CA&ON. 



op, teacher, and other officers. As these offi- 
cials hold direct and personal relations with all 
the people throughout the Territory, and are 
also in constant communication with the 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



399 



" Heads of the Church," the latter have abun- 
dant facilities for ascertaining and making 
provision for the existing state of things in 
every locality, far and near. 

Such is the Mormon Jerusalem, — the center 
and seat of that new form of religion, or, as 
he would have said, that " restored form of 
Christianity " which originated with Joseph 
Smith, in 1827, in the town of Manchester, 
Ontario County iN. V. 

According to Mormon statements, the thing 
came to pass in the following manner : Jo- 
seph Smith, then a young man and a devout 
Christian, was greatly pained and puzzled 
by the differences he beheld in the Christian 
churches. He therefore gave himself to 
prayer for direction as to which of all the con- 
tending sects was in the right. His prayers 
were answered. It was announced to him 
from heaven that they were all wrong, and that 
he should be commissioned to restore the true 
form of the Church to the world. 

An angel finally appeared and guided him 
to a spot where certain golden plates had been 
concealed for hundreds of years. These 
plates contained inscriptions, in a strange lan- 
guage, which the new prophet w r as inspired to 
translate. The contents proved to be a his- 
tory of two races of people, one of which left 
the tower of Babel, while the other comprised 
two colonies of Jews which left Jerusalem 
about six hundred years before the Christian 
era. These were the ancestors of the Ameri- 
can Indians. The whole being translated and 
published, was entitled The Book of Mormon, 
because the account "'was written on the 
plates by the hand of Mormon," who copied 
it from other plates, which were written or 
engraved by one " Nephi," this Nephi being a 
son of one of the original emigrants from 
Jerusalem ! 

The Book of Mormon professes to approve 
of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testa- 
ments, and claims to be a supplement to them, 
an additional revelation of equal authority. 

The chief end of this new revelation is to 
introduce a new prophetic dispensation, to 
restore the original and only true form of the 
Christian Church, with Joseph Smith as its 
prophet and head, with whom and his succes- 
sors the gifts of prophecy and of revelation 
are always to reside. The angel, who seems 
to have been the usual medium of communi- 
cation between heaven and the new prophet, 
also revealed to him the name of the new 
organization. It was to be called "The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints," the awkwardness of the title proving 
that this particular angel was not sufficiently 







MONUMENT ROCK, ECHO CANON. 

well versed in the English language to use it 
with elegance. 

The form of the new church was next re- 
vealed to the prophet. It was to have a two- 
fold priesthood, consisting of the " Melchise- 
dec" and the "Aaronic" divisions; of these- 
the former is the superior. From it the Presi- 
dent or head of the church must be chosen. 
It enjoys the special privilege of receiving 
revelations from heaven, and "holds the keys 
of all spiritual blessings." 

This division of the priesthood comprises- 
the following "orders," which rank as they 
are named : — 

Apostles, who "are to be special witnesses 
of the name of Christ, to build up, organize, 
and preside over the church, and to administer 
in all its ordinances and blessings." 

The Patriarch,* whose duty is " to bless the 

* This title is frequently bestowed on Brigham 
Young, probably because of his services and success 
as a husband and father. The office of "Presiding 
Patriarch or Evangelist" is actually held by John 
Smith, a nephew of the Prophet Joseph, and does not 
appear to confer much power on its possessor. 



400 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 





GENHKAL VIEW OF SALT LAKE CITY, SHOWING THE MOR.ViOJ 



ALEKNACLE. 



fatherless in the church, and to foretell what 
shall befall them and their generations. He 
also has authority to administer in the other 
ordinances of the church." 

The High Priest, whose " special duty is to 
preside, but he may also administer in the or- 
dinances and blessings of the church." 

Finally, all the members of the " Melchise- 
dec Priesthood" are called " Elders," and they 
are to "preach, baptize,* administer the Lord's 
Supper, lay on hands for the gift of the Holy 
Ghost, bless children, take the lead of all 
meetings, and ordain other elders, priests, 
teachers, and deacons." 

The term "quorum" is a favorite with the 
Mormons, and signifies a company of elders, 
with its presiding officer. Thus we have "the 
quorum of the Twelve Apostles," of which 
Orson Hyde is President, and "the quo- 
rum of seventies." There may be several 
quorums of the "seventies," but it is so ar- 
ranged that the "first seventy" has seven 
presidents, and these are to preside over all 
the other quorums. The churchly authority 
is thus very wisely confined within convenient 
limits. 

There is also a " High Council," consisting 
of twelve High Priests, the business of which 



P 



* The Mormons baptize by immersion, and do not 
baptize children until they are about eight years of age. 



is to settle any important difficulties .hat may 
arise in the church. 

The "Aaronic" division of the priesthood 
comprises Bishops, Priests, Teachers, and Dea- 
cons. It seems to have been devised for the 
purpose of infusing a Jewish element into the 
new church, and to make provision for such 
Jewish Priests and Rabbis as should be con- 
verted to the Mormon faith; for the Bishops 
belonging to this branch of the priesthood 
must be literal descendants of Aaron. None 
such, however, have as yet offered themselves 
as candidates for the high honors. This en- 
tire division is entirely subordinate to the 
Melchisedec priesthood. Indeed, it is but " an 
appendage" to it. Its Bishops must be or- 
dained to their office by the Presidency of the 
church, and the Presidents are "after the 
order of Melchisedec." The Bishop presides 
over all the lesser offices of the Aaronic class, 
"ministers in outward ordinances, conducts 
the temporal business of the church, and sits 
as a judge of transgressors." The Priests are 
to " preach, administer the Lord's Supper, and 
to visit and exhort the saints." The Teacher 
is to " watch over and strengthen the church," 
being careful to " see that the saints maintain 
unity, live in love, and do their duty." The 
Deacon is to "assist the Teacher, and also 
attend to the comfort of the saints." 

From this glance at the outward form of the 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



401 



Mormon Church, it will 
be seen that in its or- 
ganization it is an at- 
tempt to reproduce, in 
part, the form of the 
Jewish Church, as, in its 
general spirit and prac- 
tices, it seeks to revive 
many of the ideas and 
customs of Judaism. 

As we rehearse the 
titles of the various of- 
ficials, and note their 
respective functions, 
there seems to be a 
greater distinction in 
the titles and grades of 
office than in the seve- 
ral duties pertaining to 
them. But it must be 

remembered that if Mormonism is not an at- 
tempt at a Theocracy, it nevertheless con- 
templates the closest possible union of Church 
and State, and that not only the religious af- 
fairs of the saints, but also those of a tempo- 
ral and civil nature, fall within the jurisdiction 
of the officers of the church. In practice 
everything is so arranged that there is "a 
place for each man, and each man has his 
place." Places and occupations enough are 
provided to supply every one who has suffi- 
cient intelligence and force of character to 
give him influence, and to afford a position 
equal to his capacities for every one who has 
sufficient ambition to make him uneasy. 

No one can attend one of the semi-annual 
conferences of " the Latter-day Saints," in the 
Tabernacle, without perceiving that great 
worldly wisdom has been exercised in the 
organization of their church. In the exalted 
seats, which are occupied by the several grades 
of its officials, one beholds abundant indica- 
tions of intellectual brightness, activity, and 
ability, united, in certain instances, with appa- 
rent honesty and sincerity, and in certain 
other cases with marks of shrewdness, dupli- 
city, and great capacity for political intrigue. 
Turning from the dignitaries to the saints, 
which constitute the audience, there are ap- 
pearances enough of simplicity, sincerity, and 
honesty, but hardly a man shows a face that 
bears the marks of anything above medioc- 
rity of talent, while the most of them fall far 
below it. 

In this feature of the church, in the lib- 
eral supply and distribution of offices, in the 
undoubted religious fervor that animates them, 
and in the facts that many, if not most of these 
people, have been rescued from extreme pov- 
Voi.. III.— 26 




P.RIGHAM YOUNG'S RESIDENCE, SALT LAKE CITY.* 



erty, furnished with the means of transporta- 
tion hither, and provided with homes and lands 
and opportunities for gaining a livelihood, 
we find a sufficient explanation of Brigham 
Young's marvelous power over them. 

The doctrines of Mormonism profess to be 
derived chiefly from the Old and New Testa- 
ment Scriptures, and constitute a corrupt form 
of Christianity. They were stated by Joseph 
Smith, in 1842, as follows, viz : — 

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in 
His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. 

' ' We believe that men will be punished for their 
own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. 

" We believe that through the atonement of Christ 
all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and 
ordinances of the Gospel. 

" We believe that these ordinances are : First. Faith 
in the Lord Jesus Christ. Second,. Repentance. Third. 
Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Fourth. 
Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

" We believe that a man must be called of God by 
' prophecy and by laying on of hands ' by those who 
are in authority to preach the Gospel and administer 
the ordinances thereof. 

' ' We believe in the same organization that existed 
in the primitive church, viz. : apostles, prophets, pas- 
tors, teachers, evangelists, etc. 

" We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, rev- 
elation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc. 

"We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as 
far as it is translated correctly ; we also believe the 
Book of Mormon to be the word of God. 

" We believe all God has revealed, all that He does 
now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many 



* The house on the right is known as the " Bee- 
hive ; " that on the left Is called the "Lion-house," 
and is the harem. The low central building is the 



'Office" of the President. 



402 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



great and important things 
pertaining to the Kingdom 
of God. 

"We believe in the lite- 
ral gathering of Israel and in 
the restoration of the Ten 
Tribes ; that Zion will be 
built upon this continent ; 
that Christ will reign person- 
ally on the earth, and that 
the earth will be renewed 
and receive its paradisiac 
glory. 

"We claim the privilege 
of worshiping Almighty God 
according to the dictates of 
our own conscience, and al- 
low all men the same privi- 
lege, let them worship how, 
where, or what they may. 

" We believe in being sub- 
ject to kings, presidents, ru- 
lers, magistrates ; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining 
the law. 

" We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevo- 
lent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men ; indeed, 
we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul : 
' We believe all things, we hope all things ; ' we have 
endured many things, and hope to be able to endure 
all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of 
good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these 
things." 

As a confession of faith, this appears well ; 
but in strange contrast with it is the shame- 
less polygamy practiced by "the saints ; " the 
manifest impostures and frauds of the priest- 
hood, which professes to receive revelations 
from heaven, and to serve without salaries 
while amassing great riches ; and the original 
imposition of the ; " golden plates," the truth 
of which is solemnly declared and published 
by ten of their leading men, while every Mor- 
mon preacher and exhorter, in almost every 
address, takes occasion to "testify" that he 
"knows it all to be true by his own experi- 
ence ! " 




STREET SCENE IN SALT LAKE CITY. 




THK THKATEI 



But the creed itself is so framed as to cover 
the pious frau4 of Joseph Smith, which placed 
the book of Mormon on a level with the Bible, 
and constituted himself the prophet, priest, 
and ruler of the church on earth, while, if we 
accept the authorized interpretations which 
are given of it by the Mormon authorities, 
it is grossly corrupt. Thus we are told 
that " God exists in the form of Man ;" that 
"there are many Gods, only one of which is 
to be worshiped by the saints ; " that reve- 
lations from God have been received by 
Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, 
and many others ; that every saint may have 
revelations ; and that " if a church have not 
revelations, it is not a church." It is true that, 
in conversation, Brigham Young makes the 
term revelation synonymous with intuition. 
But this is not the view taken of it by the 
saints generally. 

Among other absurd things, it is taught, in 
the authorized publications of the Mormon 
leaders, that there have been many "dispen 
sations" of religion on the earth, e.g., "one 
through Adam ; one through Enoch ; one 
through Noah ; one through Jared, when he 
and his friends were led from the Tower of 
Babel to America ! one through Abraham ; 
one through Jacob ; one through Moses ; one 
through Lehi, when he with his family went 
from Jerusalem to America ! one through 
Jesus Christ, when He established His church 
in Asia and America ! and was crucified at Je- 
rusalem ; and one through Joseph Smith, in 
these last days, which is the greatest and best 
of all." 

The Mormons also claim that their mission- 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION 



403 



aries who are sent to peoples whose languages 
are unknown to them, are miraculously em- 
powered to speak- and preach in these lan- 
guages. 

In other respects the doctrinal teachings of 
the Mormons more nearly approach those of 
most Christian denominations ; but they are 
careful to set up a claim as exclusive as that 
of the Pope of Rome. " All other churches 
are man-made." The " one true Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is distin- 
guished from all others by many signs, — espe- 
cially by its Priesthood, with a Prophet and 
Revelator at its head ; and by its spiritual 
gifts and holy practices ! 

Among the customs of "the Latter-day 
Saints," as established by revelations from 
heaven, the following may be named : — 

No wine is to be drunk, except at the 
Lord's Supper ; and then only when made by 
the saints. 

No tobacco is to be used except for out- 
ward applications, — as an embrocation " for 
bruises and the like." 

No flesh is to be eaten, " except in winter, 
and in time of famine, when it becomes a ne- 
cessity." 

.A plurality of wives is allowed, but ?iot a 
plurality of husbands, "unless former husbands 
are deserted ! " and if, in any case, a woman 
is untrue to her husband, it is a capital offense. 
" She is to be destroyed." 

" Sealing" is to be performed only by the 
proper authorities of the church. 

The term "sealing" designates the mar- 
riage ceremony when performed by these au- 
thorities, and Mormons can be properly mar- 




pr 



JOSEPH F. SMITH (NEPHEW OF JO. SMITH, JR., AND ONE OF 
THE TWELVE APOSTLES). 




OKSON HYDE, PRESIDENT OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. 

ried in no other manner. In their view, 
"sealing" differs from marriage among the 
" gentiles " in some very important respects. 
For example, the latter are married for the 
present life only. They pledge themselves to 
each other " until death does them part ; " 
but a Mormon takes a wife for this life and 
forever. She is thenceforth his for time and 
for eternity ; and if he has a dozen wives 
here, they are to be his in the next world 
also. Moreover, they are to live together in 
the next world the same as in this, and are to 
continue having children without end ; * while 
the poor "gentiles," doomed to solitary- 
blessedness from the time they enter the next 
world, will be servants of tl^ir more fortunate 
and well-married neighbors, the Mormons. 
In this respect Mormonism is more grossly 
voluptuous and sensual than Mohammedism 
itself. 

The " revelation " which introduced this 
feature into Mormonism was first made pub- 
lic by Brigham Young, in July, 1852, five years 
subsequently to his first arrival at Salt Lake ; 
but Brigham asserted that the revelation was 
received from heaven by " the Prophet Jo- 
seph" (Smith), in July, 1842 (two years be- 
fore his death), and that by him it was com- 
mitted to the keeping of his successor, to be 
made known in due time. 

The "revelation" is professedly addressed 

* That this notion is entertained by them was 
learned by the writer partly from " the revelation on 
celestial marriage," partly from conversation with 
Mormons, and partly from declarations made by Orson 
Hyde in a sermon delivered in the Tabernacle. 



4°4 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 




THE MORMON TEMPLE, SALT LAKE CITY. 

to the Prophet Joseph,' and expressly author 
izes him to restore the practices of the olden 
times, and to take a plurality of wives, as did 
Abraham and David and Solomon, while it 
also expressly commands " Emma," the wife 
of the Prophet, to receive all the virtuous 
wives that should be given to her liege lord, 
and not to leave him, but to " abide with him 
and them, and cleave unto him." Brigham 
and his supporters also assert that the Prophet 
Joseph did actually take unto himself addi- 
tional wives. 

If these things were so — if Joseph Smith 
did have such a paper in his possession, and 




ORSON PRATT, ONE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. 



if he ventured to make its contents known to 
her whom, in certain portions, it directly and 
by name addressed, especially if he adopted 
the polygamous practice which it authorizes — 
" Emma" must have been aware of it. But 
she,* together with David and Alexander 
the two sons of herself and the Prophet Jo- 
seph, declare this whole story to be false, and 
affirm that no such revelation was ever re- 
ceived by him, to their knowledge, and that 
he never had but one wife. It follows, there- 
fore, either that Joseph had not the courage 
to introduce this feature of the Mormon sys- 
tem, and handed the matter over to " Brother 
Brigham," or that the latter forged the paper,, 
and foisted it upon the people, when, being in 
the center of the continent, so far from both 
the eastern and western borders of civilization, 
he thought he should never be reached by 
the laws of the United States, or be disturbed 
in his iniquities. Either supposition is possi- 
ble, — nay, probable; but the greater proba- 
bility rests with the latter. 

The protest of Joseph Smith's widow and 
sons has no influence with the great body of 
the Mormons in Utah. The authority and 
example of Brigham, who is Prophet, Priest, 
and more than King, in their estimation, 
bear down all opposition ; and, as he has 
some " sixteen wives and fifty children," the 
practice of polygamy is general, though not 
universal, among his people. His children 
follow in his saintly footsteps, his sons being 
polygamists, while three of his daughters are 
wives of one man.f His "Twelve Apostles" 
are likewise involved in the system, and; in 
addition to their lawful wives, are said to have 
concubines (called "wives") as follows, viz. : 
Orson Hyde, three ; Orson Pratt, two ; John 
Taylor, six ; Wilfred Woodruff, two ; George 
A. Smith, four \ Amasa Lyman, four ; Ezra 
Benson, three ; Charles Rich, six ; Lorenzo 
Snow, three ; Erastus Snow, two ; Franklin 
Richards, three ; George Q. Cannon, two. 

If it should be thought strange that not one 
of them all proved faithful to his lawful wife, 
the Wonder ceases when we learn that Brig- 
ham's authority is of such a nature that should 
he intimate to any one of his followers the 
propriety of taking another wife, the hint 
would not go unheeded, and perhaps could 
not be neglected with safety. 

The debasing effects of polygamy on the 
character of those who practice it are evident. 
In circumstances favorable to the free utter- 



* The Prophet's widow is now the wife of a re- 
spectable hotel-keeper at Nauvoo, 111. 

f Among Brigham' s sixteen wives are two sisters. 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



405 




MRS. ALICE YOUNG CLAWSON. 



ance of his thoughts, a polygamist is sure to 
express himself in such a manner as to show- 
that his mind and heart are corrupted. Even 
Brigham Young can hardly converse half an 
hour with lady visitors without some allusion 
to his amours, to his women and children ; 
and few Mormon sermons are delivered in 
the City of Harems without defending or ad- 
vocating the peculiar institution. 

But the saddest effects of polygamy are ex- 
perienced by the sex whose lot it renders hap- 
less and hopeless. Among the women one 
meets in Salt Lake City, besides the "gen- 
tile" visitors, several distinctions may be 
made. There is a class of respectable-look- 
ing middle-aged or elderly women, who 
probably are the original and lawful wives of 
the men who sit on high in the places of 
honor ! Then there are the young ladies, 
who do not seem to be numerous — perhaps 
because they are introduced into the harems 
as fast as they become marriage- 
able. Those whom one meets 
compare favorably with those 
of other frontier towns. Among 
the married dames there is a 
class of youngish women with 
bold, brassy-looking faces that 
are anything but agreeable, and 
that suggest suspicions which 
ought not to be cherished 
against any who are called 
" saints." With the exceptions 
thus named, the Mormon wo- 
men, generally, have a sub- 
dued, dejected, disheartened 
appearance, as if their will was 



broken, their courage lost, and they had fully 
accepted the position of hopeless inferiors, to 
whom their husbands are as "lords," whose will 
is law, whose words must not be questioned. 

Not all the women, however, are satisfied 
with this arrangement, as a late trial proves, 
in which the lawful wife complained of her 
husband for taking two other wives, and had 
him convicted. An instance was related sev- 
eral months since, in which the husband in- 
formed his wife that he was about to take 
another helpmate./ " Very well," said the 
mistress of the shanty, "you must find a place 
for her then ; you must not bring her here ! " 
Another story was told, in which the second 
wife of a polygamist inn-keeper, learning that 
he proposed to receive another partner in the 
matrimonial business, went to wife number 
one, and proposed that they two should unite 

in dissuading Mr. from his intention. 

" No, madam," was the sad but resolute re- 
ply ; "you broke my heart when you came 
here, and I am willing to have you served in 
the same manner." 

Nor is the idea of sharing a husband with 
some half a dozen others regarded as alto- 
gether agreeable by the young ladies. An 
acquaintance of the writer said to one of this 
class, who was receiving the tickets at a place 
of amusement, " Your position here must be 
a very pleasant one." — " On the contrary," 
was her reply, "it is very irksome." — "You 
should marry, then," observed the visitor. 
"Never," said the spirited girl, "till I can 
marry a whole husband. I will not have a 
part of a man !" 

The question arises whether Mormonism is 
to be perpetuated or destroyed. 



* Young's eldest daughter— an ac- 
tress, and one of the three wives of 
H. B. Clawson, the other two be- 
ing her sisters. 




406 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 




GEO. A. SMITH.* 

Judging from what is said in some of the 
newspapers, the speedy dissolution of the sys- 
tem maybe expected. Indeed, it is supposed 
that the suits lately brought against Brigham 
Young and others of the leaders for bigamy, 
are to put an end to Mormonism itself. f 

But those who indulge in such expectations 
know but little of the system, of the profound 
religious enthusiasm on which it is based, of 
the means which it possesses for its own ex- 
tension and perpetuation. 

Polygamy will doubtless come to an end, and 
this end may be reached speedily. It is but 
an excrescence on the system, and is not es- 
sential to its identity or success. The won- 
der is that a man so astute and capable as 
Brigham Young has shown himself to be in 
most other things, should have introduced 
such an element of confusion and weakness — 
not to say open wickedness — into a religious or- 
ganization on this continent in this nineteenth 
century. It would not be strange if, being 
condemned and sentenced by the United 
States Court for bigamy, he should see the use- 
iessness of contending against fate, and not 
only yield himself, but advise his followers to 
do the same. More than this, he may possibly 
turn it to good account, by claiming that the 

* First Counsellor, Church Historian, one of the 
three Presidents, and next in authority to Brigham 
Young. 

f Thus the Courrier des Etats-Unis Tor Oct. 7, 1871, 
heads its leading article " 1' Abolition du Mormonisme," 
and proceeds to show that the die is cast, because the 
U. S. Government has undertaken the destruction of 
polygamy. 



bereft husbands and discarded wives and bas- 
tardized children are the victims of a heartless 
persecution — "persecuted for righteousness' 
sake." 

Let the result of these legal proceedings be 
what it may, and the end of polygamy come 
when it may, Mormonism as an organization 
will not fall with the latter, and may not be 
weakened, but rather strengthened by its de- 
struction. From the hasty glance we have be- 
stowed upon its doctrines it will probably be 
admitted that, corrupt as it is, and in many 
respects a caricature of Christianity, it must 
be regarded, nevertheless, as a satellite of the 
Christian system, and one of its sects. 

It professes to be an improvement on all 
other Christian churches, both in its doctrines 
and in its organization. The latter, to say the 
least, is marvelously planned and exceedingly 
efficient. Mormonism is also strong in num- 
bers, in the extent of its possessions, and in 
facilities for further extension. With the ex- 
ception of the comparatively few gentiles and 
dissenters in Salt Lake City and in the neigh- 
boring mines, the population of Utah Terri- 
tory, numbering one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand, is composed of Mormons. Their set- 
tlements planted on those spots where suffi- 
cient irrigation can be obtained to render the 
land fertile, and the numbers of every settle- 
ment being limited by the amount of water 
that can be secured for purposes of irrigation, 
they have complete possession of the plains 
to a distance of four hundred miles south from 
Ogden, and they can keep possession. They 
have agents and missionaries constantly and 
successfully at work in the rural districts and 
among the laboring classes of England and 
several countries of Europe. They are sup- 
posed to have a large amount of funds in 
Europe to be employed for the purpose of 
transporting emigrants hither, and abundant 
means to assist them in locating, rearing 
habitations, and entering that department 
of labor in which they are to gain a living. 
To assist those who are of the faith, in emi- 
grating and settling in the Territory, is the 
professed object of the " timings," which are 
made up of one-tenth of the income of every 
Mormon. If the funds thus raised at any 
time prove insufficient, there are still other 
methods of securing the amount needed. 
For example, there is an island fifteen miles 
long, in Great Salt Lake, called Church qr 
Antelope Island. It is well stocked with 
cattle, which are the property of " the 
church ; " and when additional funds are 
needed to assist immigrants in coming to this 
land of promise, some of these cattle are 



THE MORMONS AND THEIR RELIGION. 



4 C 7 



sold, and the proceeds 
are forwarded to " the 
office" in Liverpool. 

Thus the Mormons 
can introduce into the 
Territory sufficient 
numbers of those who 
cherish their faith to 
retain an overwhelm- 
ing majority ; and the 
knowledge which the 
leaders have of the 
hitherto uncultivated 
portions of the plains, 
and the sources of wa- 
ter in the mountains 
that may .be employ- 
ed for irrigation, give 
them the advantage 

over all others in locating farms and planting 
settlements. 

Moreover, they are fanatically zealous for 
their church and the faith. Although the 
most of them are perverts from Christian 
churches (mostly from the Methodists and 
Baptists), they show no favor to those who de- 
sert them, who doubt any of their dogmas, or 
who question the authority or wisdom of the 
Heads of the church. They are also careful 
in teaching their children and training them 
in the knowledge of their tenets and the 
practices of their religion. In short, they 
seem to be wanting in none of those elements 
and characteristics which have rendered re- 
ligions much more corrupt and false than is 
Mormonism successful and enduring for cen- 
turies ; and this maybe the case with "the 
Church of the Latter-day Saints " in Utah. 

Much has been said of the schism that has 
taken place among them. It seems to have 
originated in other than religious differences. 
The increase of "gentile" mci chants in 
Salt Lake City, and the competition in busi- 
ness which they introduced, was thought to 
render some plan desirable for retaining the 
trade of the faithful in the hands of the faith- 
ful, in order that a tenth of the profits might 
still continue to flow into the treasury of the 
church. Accordingly a joint-stock company 
was formed, which was called "Zion's Co- 
operative Commercial Institution." The 
stock was to be owned by Mormons, and at 
the different branches, or stores, of the estab- 
lishment Mormons were required to make 
their purchases, and warned not to trade else- 
where. 

But while this plan required certain mer- 
chants who were successfully conducting large 
business enterprises to relinquish them, it gave 




STARTING FOR THE SILVER MINES. 



the chief management of the new " Institu- 
tion " to Mr. Clawson, a triplicate son-in-law of 
Brigham Young, and these two worthies would 
probably contrive to obtain the lion's share 
of the profits. The merchants in question, 
therefore, protested against the new arrange- 
ment, and, as a natural consequence, lost 
favor at court. A serious quarrel thus com- 
menced among the saints. 

A leading spirit among the malcontents 
was Mr. Godbe, a Londoner by birth, the 
proprietor of a large warehouse, who had been 
a practical polygamist, a liberal contributor 
to the enterprises of the church, and a prin- 
cipal supporter of the Utah Magazine. He 
was joined by several influential men. Among 
them were Mr. Stenhouse, a Scotchman, edi~ 
tor of the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph, who had 
formerly been sent as missionary to England 
and Switzerland ; and Mr. Harrison, one of 
the editors of the Utah Magazine. Ques- 
tioning the infallibility of the Head of the 
church was not a sin to be overlooked. They 
were, therefore, summarily cut off as " apos- 
tates;" and, in addition, Elder Kelsey, a 
member of the court which pronounced the 
sentence, refusing to vote against them, was 
himself included among the apostates, and 
excommunicated with the rest. 

The dissentients have originated a new 
church, called "The Church of Zion,' which 
appears to be a compound of Mormonism and " 
Spiritualism. The leaders of it, who seem 
disposed to join hands with the "gentiles" 
against Brigham Young and the other au- 
thorities of the mother church, profess to be 
inspired from above, and also to receive 
"communications from spirits," as from 
Heber C. Kimball, a deceased apostle, from 
the prophet Joseph Smith, from the Apostles 



408 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



Peter, James, and John, and from the Lord 
Jesus Christ ! Some of them, however, have 
deserted the imposition entirely, — whether 
with the instinct of rats leaving a sinking ship, 
or as rationalists, cured of a delusion ; and 
having dismissed their supernumerary wives, 
they profess to be living with their lawful 
helpmates only. 

It is evident that the Mormon millennium is 
not yet at hand. Strong as the system is in 
many respects, it will require all the skill and 
prudence of the Chief Managers to keep it 
from disruption in present and prospective 
exigencies. 

Polygamy is and must be a constant source 
of danger. For had all things moved on 
smoothly until the death of those who have 
accumulated estates, it is not difficult to fore- 
see that the rival claims of the legitimate and 
illegitimate heirs must eventually give occa- 
sion for disturbance and litigation, if the au- 
thority of the United States Government and 
laws shall be fairly established in the Ter- 
ritory. As that authority has been asserted, 
and the leaders themselves have been called 
to account, the issue is fairly joined and the 
question may speedily be decided whether 
polygamy is to be sacrificed, or Mormonism 
itself. 

Another element of weakness and trouble 
from which extrication will be difficult, if not 
impossible, was introduced by ignoring the 
right of eminent domain which pertained to 
the United States Government, and settling 
the Territory without securing proper titles 
to the lands occupied. Hence, if a "gen- 
tile" gets possession of a building spot, even 
in Salt Lake City, and regularly enters in the 



Land Office a claim to the eighty acres of 
which his actual property forms a part, he 
seems to have the only legal title to the same, 
although it be occupied with the usual city 
improvements. 

It is said that within a few months the 
Mormon officials have entered the entire tract 
which is covered by the City of Salt Lake 
with the Register of the Land Office. But it 
is questionable whether this step has not been 
taken too late to prevent very grave difficulties. 

Furthermore, the undoubted abundance 
and richness of the silver deposits in the Ter- 
ritory are attracting thither a large mining 
population. Between Cottonwood Canon, six 
miles distant from Salt Lake City, and the Pai- 
oute Mine, which is three hundred miles away, 
there are, at least, six localities where silver 
abounds. Among the mines already in op- 
eration and in the market are the "Emma 
Mine," twenty-eight miles from the city, and 
the " Tintic Mine," seventy miles distant. 
One-half of the former is said to have been 
sold for half a million dollars, and the latter 
is held by a joint stock company with a capi- 
tal of half a million. Miners are flocking 
thither from all directions, and it is evident 
already that cloaking polygamous practices 
with religious pretences is not favored by the 
code of miner morals. Consequently, every 
accession to their numbers strengthens the 
opposition to Mormonism. All things consid- 
ered, Brigham Young, who is now more than 
seventy years of age, has occasion for the ac- 
tive use of all his wit and wisdom. The even- 
ing of his life is not blessed with a cloudless 
sky, and the bed on which he reclines is not 
one of roses. 



•-■•• 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



"Charitv covereth a multitude of sins." 
It always seemed to us, in meeting and con- 
versing with American tourists abroad, that 
there was an unkind inclination to notice the 
failings rather than the virtues of Continental 
cities, and a tendency to descant upon the 
| general vice and depravity of European lands, 
without taking the trouble to learn the cause 
of and the whole truth concerning the evils 
that were alleged to be universal. 

No traveler leaves Munich, or Vienna, 
without having it impressed upon his memory 
by guide-book or friend, that these are ex- 
ceedingly licentious cities, in which the ille- 
gitimate nearly equal the legitimate births, 



and where vice, depravity, and folly abound 
to the exclusion of all that is pure, loyal, and 
true in social life and the family circle. Yet 
we are sorry to say that those whom we 
found most inclined to inveigh against the im- 
morality of Continental society were those 
who seemed to find their principal pleasure in 
what they condemned, and took little interest 
in the redeeming social traits. 

The illegitimate births of European cities 
we found largely accounted for, as in Vienna, 
by the trammels thrown by the government 
or the church around the ceremony of mar- 
riage. The cost is frequently so great, or the 
preliminaries are so irksome, that the poor or 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



409 




(rauhe hausj. 

careless prefer to live together as married cou- 
ples without the sanction of the authorities, 
until it is more easy to obtain this. And thus 
in Munich as well as in Vienna one can find 
thousands of poor families, as worthy and up- 
right as any, whose children are reported by 
the church as illegitimate, because their par- 
ents were unable or unwilling to comply with 
the complicated requisitions of the Romish 
hierarchy. 

For ourselves, we were rejoiced to learn 
that where sin abounds, charity also greatly 
abounds. One cannot but find a pleasure in 
visiting the multitude of charitable institutions 
throughout Germany intended to relieve al- 
most every form of human suffering and sor- 
row. 

The Romance of Parity is the fitting title 
of an English work by De Liefde that is evident- 
ly inspired with admiration at the extent and 
influence of many of these establishments in 
Europe, and whose author has spent years 
in acquainting himself with their operations 
and the history of their rise and 
progress. To these pages we are in- 
debted for much information that we 
could have obtained in so compact a 
form from no other source, and with 
which we shall take the liberty, with 
this acknowledgment, of incorpora- 
ting our own experience, when this 
process will make our story more in- 
teresting and complete. 

Of all institutions for the reforma- 
tion of youthful vagrants or criminals 
in Germany, none is better known 
than the so-called Rauhe Haus, near 
Hamburg. The name is an unfortu- 
nate one, for it means Rough House, 
and conveys in this connection an in- 
apposite idea. But this was a matter 



of pure accident, arising from the fact 
that the owner of the original tene- 
ment in which the establishment was 
commenced rejoiced in the cogno- 
men of " Rough," and thus his house, 
and all others that finally formed a 
group, received this appellation. But 
the Germans have lost the significance 
of the name, and look now only to the 
influence of its good works. It was 
founded in 1832, by Immanuel Wi- 
chern, one of the noblest of men. He 
was then a young candidate for a pul- 
pit, having just finished his theologi- 
cal studies and received a license to 
preach. His home was in Hamburg, 
the great seaport of Northern Germa- 
ny, and one of the wealthiest, busiest, 
and gayest cities of all the land. 

Hamburg's streets, crowded with fashion 
and beauty, also swarmed with homeless and 
houseless children. As Wichern took his daily 
walks his kind heart was attracted by these 
poor waifs, and he followed them into the 
miserable lanes where they found a retreat. 
Here their sufferings so affected him that he 
resolved to devote his life to ameliorating 
their condition, if Providence would show him 
a way. But he was poor and unknown, with- 
out either money or influence with the great, 
— his only instrument of success was his faith 
in God. He knew that the evil was of 
such magnitude that nothing but spontane- 
ous Christian charity could . remedy it, and 
he resolved to endeavor to procure aid to 
found a retreat away from the city, where 
he could undertake the reform of a few of 
the abandoned boys whom he met in its 
streets. 

He communicated his intentions to a few 
pious friends, who agreed with him to pray 




THli (JOLU UUTTOM. 



4io 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 




THE BOOK-BINDING OFFICE. 



and act in behalf of the good cause. The re- 
sult was that, after many tribulations and dis- 
appointments, money enough came to him, 
through government aid and bequest, to com- 
mence his enterprise. On looking around for 
a suitable spot, his eye lighted on the Rauhe 
House, destined through him to become fa- 
mous in the history of European charity. At 
first its owner was unwilling to part with it, 
but at last fortunate circumstances placed it 
at the disposal of Wichern, who, with his 
mother and a few boys, took possession of it. 
In a short time he had about twelve of the 
worst youthful rogues that Hamburg could 
supply — children of drunken parents, and 
themselves of the baser sort, nurtured in and 
accustomed to crime. 

Thus Wichern commenced his labors in the 
original Rauhe Haus, endeavoring to make a 
happy and moral family put of these terrible 
elements. He lived with the children, ate 




with them, and even slept in the same 
room with them, that he might exer- 
cise a continual control over them, 
but it was one of love and not of fear. 
Their time during the day was fully 
occupied in labor in the garden or 
workshop, in the school-room or at 
recreation. His first effort was to 
teach them the value of system and 
order, and then he set them at work 
in beautifying the grounds about the 
house, removing unsightly embank- 
ments, and making hedges and walks. 
In this labor the boys took so much 
interest that they solemnized the 
completion of each new undertaking 
by cheers and games. 

The Rauhe House soon became so 
popular that parents came begging 
for permission to put their children under Wi- 
chern' s care ; but his ideas were so fixed on the 
family relation that he was unwilling to receive 
more than twelve into the original house, con- 
sidering this number quite as many as one father 
could conscientiously attend to. But he pre- 
sented the case to pious and wealthy persons, 
and soon had means enough to build other 
houses on the grounds, and thus commenced 
a species of reformatory settlement. The 
boys themselves took a great interest in the 
new enterprise, and broke ground with festive 
exercises and prayer. Wichern had told them 
that if a new family came he must take it and 
pass them over to another, and, though this 
was not very pleasant news, they consented, 
in view of the good they would do, and cheer- 
fully accepted as teacher and father a young 
Swiss who had come to join Wichern in his 
philanthropic work. 

Thus arose the first house amidst rural 
beauty, and when it was completed 
its reception-room was filled by the 
friends and patrons of the 'cause, one 
of whom had provided an organ, that 
music and songs might lend their 
charms to the consecration. Wi- 
chern led the boys from the old to the 
new house, and installed them there 
with his paternal blessing, while he 
returned to take charge of a new 
family. But again his wants increased 
with enlarged numbers ; they needed 
outbuildings of every kind, and espe- 
cially one where they might all assem- 
ble for festivities and religious wor- 
ship. And in addition to this, the girls 
began to apply for the benefits of Wi- 
chern' s home and training. This again 
brought friends to the rescue, who re- 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



411 



solved to construct a new and larger 
building as the chief house for the 
home of Wichern and his family, that 
the old one might be given to a family 
of girls. This new building received 
the name of The Green Fir. As 
the principal house it was always the 
scene of the Christmas festivities, in 
which the fir-tree holds so promi- 
nent a place ; there was thus an en- 
deavor to connect some attractive 
name with each new house, indica- 
tive of its chief prerogative or use. 

In inculcating the value of indus- 
try in teaching the boys, Wichern 
was very fond of using many of the 
trite old German sayings, and thus 
he often repeated the adage, " La- 
bor has a golden bottom," or foundation ; 
and when he concluded to erect a workshop 
in which to teach them various useful trades, 
he adopted for it the significant cognomen of 
The Gold Bottom. This workshop was greatly 
needed to occupy them in the winter, and the 
first thing they did was to cut down a great 
birch-tree and learn to transform it into 
wooden shoes for themselves, to avoid the 
expense of boots and shoes of leather. Then 
we soon find them making matches, wooden 




>R OF THE RAL'HE HAL'S CHAPEL. 



jreat variety of wooden articles 
domestic use, and finally for 



spoons, and a : 
for their own 
sale. 

Thus one trade after another sprang up as 
their necessities grew. Soon they took to 
ordinary printing and bookbinding, and we 
give the illustration of the humble beginning 
of a business that has already grown to such 
proportions as to be well known all over Ger- 
many. The publications of the Rauhe House 
have their peculiar characteristics, being 
mostly devoted to elementary education and 




THE EEE-HIVE. 



religious and benevolent works. Their ex- 
tensive distribution has greatly assisted in the 
foundation of many hospitable institutions or 
retreats for the outcast and depraved. The 
system of Home Missions has been largely 
developed by the guidance of works issuing 
from the press of the Rauhe House. 

A large room on the ground floor of the 
Green Fir had been used as a place of prayer 
and religious worship, but it was so crowded 
morning and evening at family devotions that 
the cry went up for a chapel, without the least 
idea whence one was to come. But He 
who hears the young raven's cry also heard 
this, and inclined the hearts of a few of His 
children to give of their worldly goods for this 
purpose. Soon there arose a neat little cha- 
pel, which will contain about three hundred 
people. It has pulpit, and gallery with organ, 
and is ever festooned with wreaths indicative 
of the perpetual festival of Christian love and 
human charity celebrated within its walls. 
The girls occupy the center, while the boys 
are on one side, and the visitors or 
adults connected with the establish- 
ment on the other. There are vari- 
ous adornments of carving and sculp- 
ture interspersed with Bible precepts, 
so that the whole has an elevating 
and refining influence over the in- 
mates of the institution. 

The applications to enter were 
still so numerous that it was neces- 
sary to crowd the houses so as to 
force two families into one — to the 
great discomfort of the inmates. 
Again the appeal for more room 
went abroad. A wealthy patron in- 
quired how much it would cost to 
build another if the boys did it main- 
ly themselves. The calculation was 



412 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



handed to him, and he advanced the 
money, but only on the condition 
that the boys should build it en- 
tirely. This task they undertook 
with pleasure, for they numbered 
forty-three now, varying in age from 
ten to twenty-two years, and some 
of them had had considerable ex- 
perience in the construction of the 
other houses. Thus arose in a short 
time a beautiful and spacious cot- 
tage, appropriately named The Bee- 
hive. 

This had scarcely been filled by 
its swarm when the great fire occur- 
red which laid nearly all Hamburg 
in ruins. Many homeless ones fled 
to the Rauhe House for refuge, but 
there was scarcely a vacant corner here into 
which they could creep, and still it was im- 
possible to send them away without food or 
shelter. Wichern resolved to put an appeal 
in the papers for seven hundred and fifty dol- 
lars to build a new house for twenty-four help- 
less children that had fled from the great con- 
flagration. Hamburg was in ruins, and yet 
in a few days Wichern had a thousand dollars, 
and announced through the papers that the 
people in their calamity might cease their 
gifts. With this amount two adjoining buildings 
were erected for girls, and received the name 
of The Swallows' Nests. Each house was an 
improvement on the other, these two con- 
taining sick-rooms, and also private rooms and 
other convenient apartments for the girls and 
the sisters in charge of the two families. 

Two years after this a wealthy family of 
Hamburg had driven out one afternoon to the 
Rauhe House, and were delighted to find that 
so much had been done with the money given 




THE SWALLOWS NESTS. 







THE FISHEKS' COTTAGE. 



to them, but learned that there was still need 
of more. The next mail from jthe city 
brought a remittance of about four hundred dol- 
lars for a new house, and in a few months the 
boys had again constructed what they named 
The Fishers' Cottage, because those who took 
possession of it w r ere regarded as the fishes 
caught in the gospel net, and they were to be 
trained to become fishers of men. 

All this activity had attracted the attention 
of the world, and the Rauhe House was be- 
coming a school for the training of laborers 
for the Home Missions. Many of the boys 
had grown up to enter on this work, in grati- 
tude for their own rescue from vice and ruin. 
Some of the Brothers of these Missions 
brought money with them to defray the ex- 
penses of their stay, and the influence of oth- 
ers caused rich gifts to come in from unex- 
pected sources. New outbuildings were con- 
structed for farmers and bakers ; and a few 
Christian friends, who felt that Wichern de- 
served something more than mere grat- 
itude for his invaluable labors, built 
him a pleasant little cottage, and add- 
ed largely to the grounds by purchase. 
Wichern' s labors now were becoming 
of national importance, and the Prus- 
sian Government called him to Berlin 
to assist in organizing the great sys- 
tem of Inner Missions of that capital. 
He could not, however, wholly desert 
his first love and the scene of his early 
labors ; so he resolved to spend his 
winters in Berlin, training Christian 
young men for the Missions, but in 
summer he stayed with his great fam- 
ily at the Rauhe House. 

The grounds and settlement of this 
establishment had now become so 
beautiful, and were pervaded by such 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



4i3 



an atmosphere of Christian love and 
systematic industry, that a plan was 
conceived of establishing there a 
boarding-school for young boys. 
This was soon carried into execu- 
tion, and the result was Vine-Hill 
It is the largest of the buildings 
erected, being about one hundred 
and seventy-five feet in length, and 
composed in reality of three con- 
nected houses. Its recitation-rooms 
are large and airy, and the accom- 
modations in the line of board, lodg- 
ing, and instruction are ample, and 
are all generously paid for by the 
parents of the pupils. The teachers 
are mainly young clergymen, who 
also engage in teaching the Brethren 
of the Missions, and in the pastoral 
work required by the establishment and the 
neighborhood. 

The success of Wichern's labors has been 
simply marvelous : the homeless have re- 
ceived homes, and orphans a parent ; the vile 
have been reclaimed, and a spirit of evangeli- 
cal missionary work has been created that has 
given direction to many of the philanthropic en- 
terprises of Germany. A school also has been 
established for the education of home mission- 
aries for houses of refuge and correction, as 
well as for the prisons of Germany ; and as a 
specimen of the kind of men that fill it, we give 
one of their manifestoes to the philanthropic 
world : " We the Brothers here assembled 
come from all parts of our beloved Fatherland. 
Our homes are in Prussia from the Memel to 
the Rhine ; in Baden, Bavaria, Hesse, Wiir- 
temberg, Thuringia, Hanover, Mecklenburg, 
Holstein and Schleswig. There is not one of 
us who was not in a position to earn his daily 
bread. Want has brought none of us here. 




VINE-HILL. 




When, in distant lands, we heard of the work 
which the Lord has begun and is carrying on in 
this House, we prayed that we might be sharers 
of the blessing and of the work amongst the 
children. Our house-father called us here to 
be helpers in the work, and not one of us has 
obeyed this call without the blessing of his 
parents. We bring neither money nor prop- 
erty ; and if there were some of us able and 
anxious to give of their substance, they were 
prevented by a riper wisdom than their own. 
What we have we freely give, namely, our- 
selves, as a thank-offering to God for the good 
of the community." 

Wichern receives into this Mission school 
only such men as he thinks fully fitted for the 
work — rejecting about half who apply. And 
he finds plenty of places for all whom he gradu- 
ates. By the hundreds he has applications 
for directors or assistants of reformatories ; for 
teachers in ragged schools ; for overseers of 
orphanages, prisons, and hospitals, — and by 
the hundreds he has supplied such to 
all quarters of the world, even to the 
United States, Russia, Turkey, and the 
islands of the South Sea. Thus the 
Rauhe House extends its influence 
over the greater part of the civilized 
world, and those who leave its pre- 
cincts carry with them a pledge of 
loyalty to the Brotherhood, be they 
where they may. They correspond 
with each other, and with the estab- 
lishment, and promote each other's wel- 
fare in every possible manner ; they 
utter the same prayers at the same 
hour all over the globe ; they have 
simultaneous festivals of love that re- 
mind them of noted events in their own 
career and in the history o f the House. 



4 i4 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 




CHRISTIAN HEINRICH ZELLER. 



And in all this they have no selfish motive, 
and make no effort to advance the special in- 
terests of any church or state. They labor 
for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in 
His love for the good of suffering humanity. 
They are bound by no vows, and connected 
with the Brotherhood by no indissoluble ties ; 
they wear no peculiar dress, and are com- 
mitted to no peculiar creed except the broad 
precepts of evangelical Christianity : " Love 
one another " is their great law ; and " If ye 
do it unto the least of these, ye do it unto 
me," is their abundant encouragement. 

For want of space we leave the story of the 
Rauhe House but half told. We may say, 
however, that, go where we will in Germany 
in pursuit of charities, we will find its con- 
tinuance. Berlin is magnificently full of in- 
stitutions that directly or indirectly find their 
origin in the "Establishment." We have 
^spent weeks among them without exhausting 
them, and have daily wondered at the marvel- 
ous patience of those who are endeavoring to 
give speech to the mute, and reason to poor 
driveling idiots. We have admired the Chris- 
tian resignation of men and women who give 
their lives a sacrifice to the well-being of the 
very scum of humanity, and mingle daily with 



vagrants, thieves, and harlots, in the 
effort to reform them. 

As we walk the streets of that 
capital, our eye is ever attracted by 
retreats for the aged and the blind, 
the orphans and the homeless ; we 
see asylums for indigent and inva- 
lid women, and industrial. bazars for 
the remunerative employment of 
poor girls. All classes take an in- 
terest in these ; and many of the be- 
nevolent and philanthropic organiz- 
ations of Berlin are under the direct 
patronage of the Crown-Princess 
Victoria, and wear the prestige of 
her name. 

We now pass to the consideration 
of an institution far better known 
to the world than the one that we 
have just treated of: it is the famous 
establishment for Deaconesses at 
Kaisers werth on the Lower Rhine, 
not far from Diisseldorf, so cele- 
brated for its inimitable school of 
modern art. It was founded about 
the year 1830, by that noble man 
Fliedner, who a few years ago went 
to his abundant reward. Many 
years of his early life were passed in 
unrest at the sorrows and sufferings 
of humanity, and during these he 
wandered through prisons and hospitals to 
make himself acquainted with the sufferings of 
their inmates, and study the problem of their 
relief. He finally commenced his practical la- 
bors as chaplain of the prison of Diisseldorf, 
but soon found a wider sphere in the establish- 
ment of a hospital for the relief of the sick 
poor. He was met, however, at the very out- 
set, by an almost insuperable difficulty in the 
great want of intelligent and trained nurses. 
Those whom he was able to engage were most- 
ly poor and ignorant, and frequently persons 
who had failed in nearly every other employ- 
ment. 

He thus established his Deaconess-House, 
with a view to raise up a band of intelligent 
and devoted women who should devote their 
lives in Christian fidelity to the care of the 
sick, the instruction of prisoners, the care and 
education of poor children, and the consola- 
tion of the afflicted and sorrowing. From a 
very humble beginning, the institutions of 
Kaiserswerth have grown into a settlement of 
noble edifices devoted in some way to the al- 
leviation of the suffering of mankind. There 
are no less than six groups of buildings, and 
it really requires days to become intimately 
acquainted with them all. We give in illus- 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



4<5 



tration the so-called House of Rest — 
a home for aged and infirm deacon- 
esses, who, after they have fought the 
good fight, prefer to come back to their 
old home to receive the welcome salu- 
tation, " Well done, good and faithful 
servants ; enter ye into your reward on 
earth." 

We wander over the principal estab- 
lishment and learn that five or six hun- 
dred sisters are continually within its 
walls, unless called away by some sud- 
den emergency, such as war, famine, 
or pestilence. Some make nursing 
their special care ; others prepare them- 
selves to instruct. In their immense 
hospital a thousand invalids receive 
care during the year. Sometimes a 
fourth of these are Roman Catholics, 
who are never questioned as to their creed, 
though it is a Protestant institution ; if in the 
dying hour they desire a priest, full permis- 
sion is granted to one to come and administer 
extreme unction. In all their institutions the 
Bible alone is the Christian text-book ; it is 
read daily to all, and its simple truths are ex- 
plained. 

There is a large establishment for the train- 
ing of young girls to be the teachers or direc- 
tresses of infant schools of orphan or vagrant 
children ; and also a female orphan asylum 
for children that may have lost one or both 
parents. This is largely used for the edu- 
cation of the orphan daughters of teachers 
and clergymen, and many of these girls be- 
come deaconesses, so that it is a sort of sup- 
plementary school. Again we find another 
building devoted to female prisoners released 
from the prisons, and for magdalens ; and this 
boasts, since its establishment, of having re- 
formed some six hundred girls and restored 




THE DUSSELTHAL ESTABLISHMENT. 




THE OKPHAN-HOUSE AT LAHR-DINGLINGEN. 



them to society and usefulness. TJie finest 
building of the colony is devoted to Protes- 
tant insane women, and is patronized by many 
of the wealthiest families of the land. Besides 
physician and pastor, there is over a score of 
deaconesses in constant attendance, whose 
kind ministrations do much to alleviate the 
terrible trials of the inmates, a large propor- 
tion of whom are returned cured to their fami- 
lies. 

In the immediate neighborhood there are 
filial-houses, that are adjunct to the great pur- 
poses of the cause, and from these we may 
start on a pilgrimage over the world and every- 
where discover stations under the control of 
deaconesses from the mother-colony. Ger- 
many has a hundred of them ; and we find 
them on the banks of the Lower Danube and 
in the city of the Sultan, in Asia, in Palestine, 
in Africa, and a few in America — one in Pitts- 
burg. Their noblest field of mercy is opened 
to them when the fire-brand of war is hurled 
among the nations. During the war 
between Prussia and Denmark, arising 
out of the Schleswig-Holstein question, 
they first showed their efficiency, and 
by their skillful medical training and 
patient Christian love soon came to be 
regarded as angels by the soldiers, who 
at first hooted at the idea of women 
being of any use on the battle-field. 
And again in the war of 1866 they 
were an influential portion of the sani- 
tary organizations, and, knowing no 
foes, were found wherever misery and 
distress needed alleviation. But the 
crowning triumph was reserved for them 
in the recent bloody struggle between 
the Germans and French. When all 
others sank in despair at the magni- 



416 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



tude of human misery following in the 
train of such gigantic conflicts, the 
deaconesses were the first and the last 
among the dying and the wounded, ad- 
ministering succor and consolation, un- 
til numbers of them gave way to utter 
exhaustion and found the hero-death 
amidst horrors worse than those of the 
fiercest conflict. 

But we cannot begin to enumerate 
their field of labor ; it is as broad as 
that of human suffering and sorrow, and 
who will measure that ? It is a grati- 
fying fact that the renown of these self- 
sacrificing women is reaching our shores 
and challenging the attention of Chris- 
tians. We honor the church that has re- 
cently made a decided movement in this 
direction, and are most confident that 
it will find a rich reward in so doing. 
Many of the churches abroad are now 
employing deaconesses in pastoral visi- 
tation, who find access to retreats that 
would be quickly and indignantly closed 
to men. The lanes, the alleys, the cel- 
lars, the purlieus of great cities seldom 
insult or reject a modest, plainly-dress- 
ed, loving, Christian woman, coming on 
her errand of mercy to do whatever her 
judgment tells her the poor and the out- 
cast most need. 

Our churches have long neglected an 
element of strength that the Catholics 
have been steadily using to the increase 
of their numbers and power. Very few give full 
value to the influence exerted by the organized 
bands of women in the Romish Church. Why 
should not the Protestant Church have its Sis- 
ters of Charity, without veils, and vows, and 
secret ties that do violence to womanhood ? 
There is in the world abundant room for the 
unselfish labors of women who long for a 
sphere of activity to do good in the name of 
the great Master, and the sooner we open this 
to them, after the manner of the Deaconesses 
of Kaiserswerth, the sooner we shall profit by 
an experience whose value can never be re- 
corded on earth. 

Christian Heinrich Zeller is the hero of the 
so-called "Poor School" long since established 
in the quaint old mediaeval castle of Beuggen, 
on the Upper Rhine. We do not wonder that 
the Germans love and guard the Rhine, for its 
banks are adorned with so many monuments 
of true Christian labor that it may well seem 
the cradle of their humanity, as it is of their 
national glory. In early life Zeller' s heart- 
was pamed at the destitution of poor children 
in the distant and scantily-peopled hamlets of 




OTTO GERHARD HELDRING. 



his country, where it was difficult to maintain 
schools of any kind, and especially so to ob- 
tain the service of Christian teachers. In 
sorrowing terms he frequently declared to his 
friends, that many of their dear German chil- 
dren might as well be in heathen lands as to 
live so destitute of the warming rays of Chris- 
tian love. He therefore resolved to make 
himself the shepherd of these abandoned 
sheep, and, after more tearful struggles than 
we have space to relate, succeeded in obtain- 
ing from the ruler of the Grand Duchy of 
Baden the privilege of occupying the long- 
deserted Castle of Beuggen, most romanti- 
cally situated on the river's bank, and in the 
midst of a singularly pleasing landscape. 

After a world of trial in making it fit for 
human habitation, and obtaining from Chris- 
tian benevolence the means to equip and start 
it, he and his wife entered it with tears stream- 
ing down their cheeks, and covered its portals 
with this device: "The Bible, and nothing 
but the Bible." They had grasped the sword 
of the Spirit to wage battle against spiritual 
destitution, and determined to raise up a band 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



417 



of young warriors in this field whose simple 
motto should be, "The Bible and the example 
of Christ." The period was mature in need 
and ripe for such an effort. The long series 
of wars between the first Napoleon and the 
Germans had just closed, and many portions 
of the country were in utter desolation and 
destitution. The school soon found pupils 
among the poor of the neighborhood, and the 
pastors of various parishes induced young 
men who were being trained for the Inner 
Missions to go there and teach a while. In 
a short time Zeller began to send out his 
missionaries wherever there was the great- 
est dearth of Christian teaching, and thus he 
seemed almost to rescue his country from the 
barbarity that cruel war had been so long cul- 
tivating, before the Government or the Church 
was able to resume its labors. The utility of 
the Poor-School of Beuggen was so soon de- 
monstrated that aid began to flow in from every 
quarter, and it became a permanent institu- 
tion. Zeller long since went to his rest, but 
the Castle of Beuggen-on-the-Rhine continues 
to send forth its valiant warriors of the faith, 
as loyal, patient teachers of the poor and 
lowly children in the isolated hamlets of the 
Fatherland. 

Turning now from the humble Zeller, we 
introduce our readers, in the accompanying 
engraving, to the Diisselthal Asylum, an in- 
stitution founded under a like impulse and at 
the same period as that of Beuggen, but by a 
philanthropist in a very different sphere of 
life. Count von der Recke also perceived 
the terrible destitution of the entire land after 
the Napoleonic wars, with its thousands of 
desolated hearthstones, and multitudes of 
poor, neglected children who were running 
nearly as wild as savages. The rude instincts 
of war seemed to have taken possession of the 
entire population that had so long been under 
its baleful influences, and the young especially 
were growing up into a race of malefactors. 

The cities, the villages, and even the public 
highways, were overrun with criminals, and the 
prison-houses could not contain them ; Ger- 
many had not known such a period of utter 
demoralization since the close of the awful 
Thirty Years' War. Von der Recke was a 
Christian nobleman, living on his estate near 
Dlisseldorf, where he had frequent opportuni- 
ties for witnessing the moral destitution of the 
young. He resolved to make an effort to re- 
claim some of these poor, abandoned chil- 
dren, and undertook to have some of them 
taken, at his own expense, to board in Chris- 
tian families in the neighborhood. This was 
found to make the matter worse, by contami- 
Vol. III.— 27 



nating children still pure, and the Count then 
resolved to found a separate establishment for 
the maintenance and reformation of indigent 
and neglected children in the school-house of 
his own town. The social position and con- 
sistent Christian character of the Count soon 
enabled him to enlist in his service many of 
the wealthy nobles of the country ; but in the 
meanwhile his infant project grew so fast that 
it needed more room. In looking around 
for relief, his eye rested on the old abbey of 
Diisselthal, on the Diissel River, not far from 
Dlisseldorf. It was fortunately for sale at a 
reasonable figure, and by the aid of noble 
patrons he secured the funds and purchased 
the estate. 

Many philanthropic friends also took an in- 
terest in the enterprise j one clergyman started 
a journal in its interest, and Krummacher 
wrote a beautiful little book on Christian love, 
whose profits were devoted to the establish- 
ment. Thus favored, the institution increased, 
additions were built to it, and more friends 
gathered around it. It soon became a colony 
of industrious workers, as all the children were 
set to work ; and thus bakeries, and mills, and 
printing-offices sprang up, one after another, 
until the settlement owned eleven hundred 
acres of land, covered with everything that 
could enhance the welfare and increase the 
usefulness of the poor children that had been 
snatched from misery and perdition. The 
Count wore out under his labors and suc- 
cumbed to them ; but he left behind him a 
creation that was more lasting than its foun- 
der. It passed into the hands of a Board of 
Curators, and continued its useful career un- 
der several men renowned for their Christian 
devotion and skill in the management of re- 
formatory institutions. 

Thousands have since entered it in dark- 
ness and passed out in light, and its example 
has aided in founding a great number of simi- 
lar retreats, or refuges, throughout Germany. 
The lover of such labors will find it well 
worthy of a visit, and easy of access. Take 
a Rhine steamer at Cologne, and after a short 
sail you are landed at the old town of Dlis- 
seldorf. Thence a pleasant walk of a mile 
will bring you, through an avenue of trees, to 
a rare old grove, in the midst of which is the 
colony of various buildings that now go by 
the name of Diisselthal — a village built up in 
answer to the appeals from indigent and 
abandoned childhood, and one that is a nobler 
monument to its originator than molten brass 
or chiseled marble. 

And now we proceed again up the Rhine, 
past frowning precipice and turreted castle 



4i8 



THE CHARITIES OF THE FATHERLAND. 



and smiling landscape, to a region renowned 
for its manufactures — that lying in the valley 
opposite the now famous town of Strasburg. 
Here we find another of the proofs that prac- 
tical Christian benevolence has taken deep 
root in the German heart : it is the Orphan- 
House of Dinglingen. All its surroundings 
bear the indications of comfort and content- 
ment, and the interior does not belie this im- 
pression. The manufacturing town of Lahr, 
some two miles away, contained a busy com- 
munity of about twelve thousand, all supported 
by some one of the numerous branches of in- 
dustry there carried on. But in these bee-hives 
there were a great many poor, neglected 
children, many of them the orphans of those 
who had come to an untimely end through dis- 
ease, dissipation, or accident. The commu- 
nity was largely Catholic, and therefore little 
interest was manifested in the welfare of Prot- 
estant children. The sufferings of this class, 
consequently, made piteous appeals for help, 
and these calls reached the heart of a certain 
tradesman, by the name of Fingado. His char- 
itable spirit led him to consult quite frequently 
in this regard with the officials of the town, 
and he became secretary of a society of benev- 
olent ladies whose object was to find homes for 
destitute children. 

Thus by degrees he was led to feel that his 
true calling was not trade, but Christian 
charity towards the outcasts of the commu- 
nity where Providence had placed him. In 
the midst of his heart-struggles as to what he 
should do, and how he could dp it, he heard 
of the annual exhibition of Zeller's famous 
Poor-School, w r hose history we have already 
related. These occasions were seasons of con- 
ference and congratulation with all Protestant 
Christians for fifty miles around, and they 
never passed without such fervent appeals 
from Zeller in behalf of his poor children as 
incited all loving hearts to renewed efforts. 
The occurrences of this pentecostal season 
fixed Fingado in his purpose, and showed him 
what course to pursue. On his way home he 
met and conversed with some wealthy Chris- 
tians, and he and his wife had scarcely risen 
from their first prayers of dedication to the 
sacred work when he received a letter with a 
contribution for his orphan-house. Another 
and another came, followed by favorable no- 
tices in the journals of the projected enter- 
prise ; and people saw that this would be so 
much better than the inhuman practice of 
farming out the care of abandoned children 
by auction to the lowest bidders, — but too 
often the most unfit and cruel keepers, — that 
they all encouraged him in the good work. 



At first he took a few of the children into 
his own house, and even tried to continue his 
business, that he might have the more means 
of doing good. But the children crowded on 
him so that he soon needed all his room and all 
his time for them. At last it became evident 
that he must have new quarters, and he finally 
decided on a large building and grounds at 
Dinglingen, two miles distant from the town. 
The owner gave it at a reduced price for this 
purpose, and contributions flowed i n to pay 
for it. For several years the expenses were 
borne entirely by private benevolence, but at 
last the Government recognized and aided it, 
and from that time to this it has continued to 
increase in numbers and influence, until the 
entire surrounding country seems under a 
more genial spirit because of this perennial 
fountain of Christian love. 

The last of these Christian heroes whom 
we now propose to present to our readers, is 
Otto Gerhard Heldring, the famous philan- 
thropic pastor of the ancient town of Hem- 
men in Holland, on the Lower Rhine, near 
the German border. During his university 
years he had a fearful struggle between the 
pure tenets of the Gospel and the teachings 
of German philosophy. He fought it out, 
not in the schools, but by abandoning them 
and taking to manual labor among the hard- 
working and poorly-paid people of this region. 
Here he learned practical lessons that turned 
his attention to the sufferings of his race, and 
led him back to the pulpit for the good that he 
might do as pastor and teacher of the igno- 
rant and destitute. In his vocation as pastor 
he frequently visited the prisons of Holland, 
and was alarmed and pained at the number 
of young women and girls in these establish- 
ments, — many of them committed for trifling 
crimes, but, when once there, allowed to fall 
into the snares of those who were old in 
vice, and who actually found the prison 
halls a capital recruiting-ground for the 
brothel. 

Some of the girls, learning his calling and 
his errand, actually appealed to him to do 
something for them, that the disgrace of im- 
prisonment might not banish them from so- 
ciety and force them into a life of infamy. His 
purpose was soon taken. He visited Amster- 
dam, with the intention of appealing to its 
able citizens to establish a Magdalen asylum. 
And he did not beg in vain, for in a short time 
the establishment of Steenbeek was founded 
near Hemmen. It was a task to find a Chris- 
tian woman to undertake the control of such 
an institution, and after much searching the 
lot fell on Miss Voute, a lady of Amster- 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



419 



dam, who for many years has been a noble 
mother to the poor girls under her care, and 
has given liberally of her means to aid in sus- 
taining the asylum. This has grown to be a 
model institution of the kind, and has re- 
formed hundreds of fallen women, and taught 
them useful occupations for their self-support 
after leaving it. Nearly one thousand girls 
have found a retreat there, and of these about 
one-third have been reformed and returned to 
society as useful members of it ; a third have 
been wavering between good and evil, and the 
remaining third have returned to a life of shame. 
This fact led Heldring to look further in 
his reformatory efforts, and induced him to 



found another institution — for prevention 
rather than cure — and thus arose the House 
of Talitha Kumi, a refuge for young girls on 
the eve of destruction, especially released 
convicts. Large numbers have been gathered 
in here, and a much larger proportion re- 
formed. To these was soon added another, 
called Bethel, intended to hold a medium 
rank between the other two — the three afford- 
ing a perfect chain to surround neglected 
girls of all ages and protect them from the 
evil ready to ingulf them. To these labors 
Heldring finally added that of foreign mis- 
sions, and has thus fairly deserved to be class- 
ed among the benefactors of the race. 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



The advantages of the present National 
Banking System are so great and obvious that 
criticism has been almost smothered. The 
improvement upon former systems, under 
which each State regulated the affairs of all 
the banks situated within its limits, is appar- 
ent to all. No unprejudiced man would for 
a moment wish us to return to the condition 
of affairs which existed prior to the passage of 
the National Currency Act, — when the cur- 
rency of every State, almost of every bank, 
had a different quotation, when "wild cat" 
banks flourished and "red dog" currency 
abounded, and when counterfeits were so nu- 
merous that none but the most experienced 
judges could hope to escape occasional im- 
position. The bank currency of many States 
was not, it is true, obnoxious to all these ob- 
jections, but the state of the circulation of the 
country at large was deplorably bad. Now, 
on the contrary, the country possesses a bank 
currency which is uniform, amply secured, and 
so well executed that it has for years success- 
fully defied the counterfeiters' arts. More 
important still, it answers almost all the pur- 
poses required of any circulation, is available 
for the payment of taxes, and practically, 
though not legally, of most private debts, 
and is for nearly all the needs of the com- 
munity as useful and valuable as the cur- 
rency of the government itself. Dazzled 
by all these conspicuous advantages, most 
people have, without reflection or investiga- 
tion, concluded that the National Banking 
System is an unmixed good, never stopping to 
inquire whether these advantages may not be 
offset by defects as great, though not so strik- 
ing, or may not have been purchased at the 



sacrifice of some of the good features which 
existed in the former system, faultful though 
it was. We are convinced that the system 
established by the National Currency Act pos- 
sesses such grave defects, and is ingrafted 
with such anomalous provisions, as to almost 
counterbalance its manifest merits. To show 
what these defects are it will be necessary, in 
the first place, to briefly set forth the leading 
characteristic features of the system. 

LEADING FEATURES OF THE SYSTEM. 

The National Currency Act of June 3, 1864, 
which, with some amendments, still remains 
in force and is the basis of the system, pro- 
vides for the issue of $300,000,000 in circu- 
lating notes by National Banks organized as 
therein provided. These notes are secured 
by the deposit with the Treasury Department 
of one hundred dollars in United States 
bonds for every ninety dollars in notes 
issued, and are to be redeemed in lawful 
money of the United States on presenta- 
tion at the banks. It is also required that 
each bank shall at all times keep on hand 
an amount of lawful money of the United 
States, equal, in certain cities where banks are 
permitted to redeem for those in other parts 
of the country, to twenty-five per cent, of its 
circulating notes and deposits, and in all other 
cities to fifteen per cent, of those liabilities, 
three-fifths of which may consist of the bal- 
ances due from the banks which redeem for 
it. The interest on the bonds deposited is 
paid to the banks that own them. This act 
originally contained no provision for the dis- 
tribution of the circulation among the differ- 
ent sections of the country, but by an amend- 



420 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



merit approved March 3, 1865, it was en- 
acted — 

"That one hundred and fifty million dol- 
lars of the entire amount of circulating notes 
authorized to be issued, shall be apportioned 
to associations in the States, in the District 
of Columbia, and in the Territories, according 
to representative population, and the remain- 
der shall be apportioned by the Secretary of 
the Treasury among associations formed in 
the several States, in the District of Columbia, 
and in the Territories, having due regard to 
the existing banking capital, resources, and 
business of such State, District, and Terri- 
tory." 

A similar provision was contained in the 
act of February 25, 1863, — the original Na- 
tional Currency Act, which was superseded 
by the act of June 3, 1864, — but for some 
reason was omitted from the latter act. 

The act of June 3, 1864, also declares 
that the circulating notes of National Banks 
" shall be received at par in all parts of the 
United. States' in payment of excises, pub- 
lic lands, and all other dues to the United 
States, except for duties on imports ; and 
also for all salaries and other debts and de- 
mands owing by the United States to indi- 
viduals, corporations, and associations within 
the United States, except interest on the pub- 
lic debt and in redemption of the National 
Currency." 

An act passed July 12, 1870, provides for 
$54,000,000 of National Currency, to be ap- 
portioned among those States and Territories 
having less than their proportion under the 
apportionment provided for by the act of 
March 3, 1865 ; but as it does not alter or 
affect the general characteristics of the sys- 
tem, it does not require separate considera- 
tion. 

Briefly recapitulating these prominent fea- 
tures of the system, we find provision made 
for a bank currency, fixed in amount, appor- 
tioned half according to population, and half 
in the manner which a certain government 
officer shall deem best, secured by stocks in 
the custody of the government, but drawing 
interest for the banks, and by lawful money 
reserves held by the banks, payable on de- 
mand in lawful money, and receivable in pay- 
ment of all currency dues to and from the 
United States. From a consideration of these 
provisions of law, what, let us now inquire, 
would any intelligent, unprejudiced man of 
sound judgment, familiar with the principles 
of political economy and the history of bank- 
ing systems, have predicted would be the 
practical operation of the system thus inaugu- 



rated ? He would have predicted, first, from 
the limitation of the bank circulation to an ar- 
bitrarily fixed amount, that the system would 
build up a mighty monopoly — hydra-headed, 
and all the more dangerous for that reason — 
tenacious of its privileges and clamorous for 
further concessions, and of such gigantic 
power as to control all political and legisla- 
tive action, where its own interests should be 
concerned. He would have predicted, fur- 
ther, that the operation of this limitation, 
coupled with the crude provisions for the ap- 
portionment of the currency, would cause 
banks to spring up like mushrooms in places 
where there would be no legitimate business 
foundation for such enterprises, while other 
places needing banking facilities, but more 
tardy in their applications, would be left un- 
provided for. He would have predicted still 
further, that the provision for the receipt of 
the National Currency in payment of all 
currency dues to and from the government 
would make it in effect a legal-tender for all 
private debts, and, in conjunction with its 
limited amount, would, at least while the gov- 
ernment receipts and disbursements should 
continue as large as they were certain to be 
for many years, give it such a circulation that 
the banks would be practically freed from the 
responsibility of redeeming it. He would 
have predicted, finally, that, the banks being 
certain under the operation of such causes of 
receiving double interest upon the capital in- 
vested, the business would be exceedingly 
profitable, and that the returns would show 
fat dividends and rapidly augmenting sur- 
pluses. 

Just these results, which might have been 
foreseen upon a careful study of the provi- 
sions of law which created the system, have 
actually followed. It has probably occurred 
to many that the banks were wielding more 
power and reaping greater profits than they 
were justly entitled to, but public interest in 
the subject does not appear to have been 
awakened to the extent which its importance 
demands. Probably most who have thought 
about it at all have believed these evils to be 
inseparable from any banking system, and, 
finding the present one free from most of the 
annoying defects of its predecessors, have 
been content to bear with those which, how- 
ever injurious they may be in their aggregate 
effect, detract but little from individual com- 
fort or convenience. The annoyance of being 
unable to pass a note without a " shave," be- 
cause it was issued by some Western State 
Bank, or of thumbing a bank-note detector 
amid the hurry of business, to determine 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



421 



whether some doubtful-looking shinplaster 
was genuine, was a direct and palpable evil 
which the meanest intellect could appreciate ; 
but being insensibly taxed to contribute to 
the profits of the stockholders of National 
Banks is so easy and comfortable a mode 
of being robbed, that the victim is insensible 
of the process. It is like having one's pocket 
picked without discovering the deficit in one's 
cash. 

Returning to our imaginary predictions, 
we find that the defects of the system fall un- 
der four heads : Monopoly ; Unfair Apportion- 
ment of the Right to Issue Circulation ; Irre- 
deemably of the National Currency; and 
Excessive Profits of National Banks. These 
we shall take up in their order. 

MONOPOLY. 

There can be no doubt that the National 
Banks — at least in the Northeastern States, 
where the principal portion of the banking cap- 
ital of the country lies, and where the appor- 
tioned amount of bank circulation was long 
since issued — constitute a true monopoly. It 
would be idle to say that they do not consti- 
tute a monopoly because of their number, — 
because the business of banking is not con- 
fined to one or a few. The essence of a 
monopoly, as the word is now used, does not 
consist in the limitation of the privilege of con- 
ducting a business to a small number, but in 
its being limited at all, either as to the amount 
of capital which may be invested in the busi- 
ness, or as to the number of persons who may 
prosecute it. So long as there are any persons 
in the State who are debarred by law from en- 
gaging in any business on the same terms as 
any other persons, so long that business, what- 
ever it may be in name or appearance, is in 
fact and in essence a monopoly in the hands 
of those who are allowed to engage in it. And 
in proportion as there is a desire to extend a 
business so limited beyond the hands of those 
who may be authorized by law to prosecute it, 
that monopoly will become odious and oppres- 
sive. Applying these principles to the National 
Banking System, the conclusion cannot be re- 
sisted, that if any citizen of the United States 
is debarred by a national law from prosecu- 
ting the business of banking on the same 
terms as any other person in the United 
States, that business is a monopoly. Viewed 
in this light, the business of banking under 
the National Currency Act is a monopoly in 
all of the Northeastern States of the Union. 
The national circulation allotted to those 
States by law, or by the apportionment made 
in pursuance of law, having all been long 



since swallowed up by organizations earliest 
in the field, the business of issuing circulating 
notes is confined to those organizations. Na- 
tional banks may, it is true, be organized and 
commence business in those States, but they 
must forego the privilege of issuing notes, un- 
less they can buy up, as has sometimes been 
done, the circulation of some defunct or mo- 
ribund bank in the same State, and, returning 
it to the Currency Bureau at Washington, 
obtain in its stead new notes to be issued by 
themselves. The business of issuing circula- 
ting notes is monopolized by the associa- 
tions organized prior to the exhaustion of 
the amount of banking circulation allotted 
to the States in which they may be situa- 
ted. 

That the national banking interest has grown 
to be one of great influence in the National 
Legislature, no one who has watched the course 
of legislation upon the subject will deny. No 
other influence than this stands in the way of 
the repeal of the arbitrary limitation upon the 
bank circulation of the country, for no other 
interest could be damaged by it. If the privi- 
leges and benefits of the National Currency 
Act should be thrown open to all on equal 
terms, the profits of the National Banks now 
established could not fail to be reduced. Com- 
petition, that healthful element of all legitimate 
trade, would be stimulated, and new banks 
would be organized, until the number should 
be so increased that the profits derivable from 
banking under the national system would be 
assimilated in rate to the profits of other kin- 
dredenterprises. It is not a matter of sur- 
prise that the banks already organized, know- 
ing this, should use every effort to keep new- 
comers, with whom they would be obliged to 
share their profits, from the field. How great 
an influence they are able to exert in this 
direction may be estimated from a considera- 
tion of the fact that nearly every city and thriv- 
ing village has one or more National Banks, 
the stockholders and officers of which are 
usually the most active and influential men in 
their several localities. Such men as these 
are not to be disregarded in political move- 
ments and combinations, and their influence, 
having been secured, must be rewarded by 
devotion to their interests. In this manner 
they are enabled to largely control the legis- 
lation affecting the banking interest. There 
are few members of Congress who would 
not be guided in their votes upon a bank- 
ing measure by the expressed wishes of the 
national bankers in their districts. These 
statements are not intended to be construed 
as strictures upon either the national bankers 



42 2 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



or the members of Congress. In so acting 
they are guided merely by that consideration 
for their own interests which is the uniform law 
of human nature. The fact, however, that 
the National Banking System furnishes incen- 
tives to such action is here adduced as one of 
its defects, which it should be the policy of 
wise legislation to remove while the evil is 
yet in its infancy, and before it becomes too 
strong— if the hour be not already too late — 
to be eradicated by anything less than a pop- 
ular uprising against the whole system. For 
it must be remembered that monopolists are 
no exception to the rule that " power is ever 
at war with its own boundaries." It is their 
tendency, like that of all irresponsible power, 
to grow more and more grasping and dicta- 
torial, until at last, blinded by success and 
license, they carry their exactions to such 
lengths that they fall victims to the popular re- 
sentment which they have provoked. The 
founders of the National Banking System were 
doubtless actuated by pure and patriotic mo- 
tives, but it may prove that they have sum- 
moned a genie too powerful for them or their 
successors to control. 

An illustration of the influence of the Na- 
tional ^anks in shaping legislation favorably 
to themselves may be found in the fact that 
upon the maturity of the compound-interest 
notes, which had been available under the rul- 
ings of the Treasury Department for their 
lawful money reserves, they were able to 
secure the passage of an act which provided 
for the issuing of an anomalous kind of obli- 
gation, — known as three-per-cent. certificates, 
— to take the place in their reserves of the ma- 
tured notes, which had of course ceased to 
draw interest. The act was passed avowedly 
for the purpose of providing the banks with 
notes which should be sufficiently like lawful 
money to be available for their reserves, and, 
while meeting the requirements of law in 
that particular, should yield them interest. 
Such a measure is utterly indefensible. Its 
effect is to cause the people of the United 
States to pay interest to the banks on the 
reserves which the law, founded on a regard 
for the security of their creditors, compels 
them to hold, and which, but for the suspen- 
sion of specie payments, would be required 
to be entirely composed of gold and silver 
coin. 

A still more recent illustration of the rapa- 
city of the banks is furnished by the bill to 
provide an "elastic" currency, introduced by 
Gen. Butler at the last session of the XLIst 
Congress, which, like most measures of that 
gentleman, has provoked much comment. It 



provides for an unlimited issue of bonds or 
notes bearing three and sixty-five one-hun- 
dredths per cent, interest per annum, in law- 
ful money, which shall be furnished at par in 
exchange for United States notes at all of the 
Government sub-treasuries, and shall be re- 
deemable on presentation. If public report 
may be trusted, the National Bank interest has 
promised this measure its support, provided 
that it shall be so amended that the proposed 
bonds be available for the reserves of the 
banks. This is decidedly the most rapacious 
proposition which has been presented on be- 
half of the banks. Should it be adopted, the 
United States would be required to pay three 
and sixty-five one-hundredths per cent, annual 
interest on every dollar held in the bank re- 
serves. The present law is sufficiently odious, 
but, fortunately, only about twenty- three and 
one-half millions of the three-per-cent. certifi- 
cates are now* outstanding, and this amount 
is being steadily reduced under the direction 
of the Secretary of the Treasury. The pro- 
posed new issue, on the other hand, being 
obtainable at any time, to any amount, in ex- 
change for United States notes, is limited only 
by the demand. The first and probably about 
the only result which would follow the adoption 
of the bill, as proposed to be amended, would 
be the conversion of the whole legal-tender 
reserves of the banks into the new bonds, and 
the imposition thereby of many millions of 
additional annual burden upon the people of 
the United States, in the form of interest paid 
to the banks on their reserves. 

The defeat at the same session of Con- 
gress, through the influence of the banks, of 
the bill for the renewal of the bank circula- 
tion, is another instance of their greed and 
power. There was and could be no doubt 
of the necessity of the measure, which is evi- 
denced by the daily experience of every one ; 
but the banks were unwilling either to forego 
the profit derived from the sheer wearing-out 
of their notes by protracted use, or to submit 
to the expense of furnishing new ones, and 
the bill was consequently doomed to defeat. 
So, too, during the pendency of the funding 
bill, the banks were able to secure the rejec- 
tion of every feature which they considered 
unfavorable to their interests. This result 
was achieved through the efforts of a com- 
mittee, representing nearly all the National 
Banks in the United States, who formed a 
lobby too powerful for Congress to resist, and 
proved conclusively that the organization of 
the banks was so perfect and their power so 



* December 



[8yi 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



423 



great as to render almost hopeless any effort 
to curtail their profits or franchises. 

The facts that many members of Congress 
are officers of National Banks, and that a still 
larger number are stockholders in those insti- 
tutions, have doubtless not been wholly desti- 
tute of influence upon legislation affecting the 
interests of the banks. 

UNFAIR APPORTIONMENT OF THE RIGHT TO 
ISSUE CIRCULATION. 

The organization of National Banks in 
places where no banks existed before, and 
where no increase of legitimate business would 
warrant their establishment, has been fre- 
quently noticed. Illustrative instances will 
probably be called to mind by nearly every 
reader. A comparison of the list of National 
Banks with that of the banks which existed 
prior to the passage of the National Currency 
Act, after making due allowance for increase of 
trade and wealth, will amply demonstrate this. 
That, on the other hand, places in need of 
banking facilities have been left unprovided for 
by the National system, is evidenced by the 
facts that numerous applications for authority 
to establish banks m the Northeastern States 
have been refused by the Comptroller of 
the Currency, in consequence of the ex- 
haustion of the quotas allotted to those 
States, and that many banks have been or- 
ganized and have begun business without ob- 
taining their proportion of circulation, while 
others still have found it profitable to buy the 
circulation of closing banks at a premium, for 
the purpose of obtaining for it from the Cur- 
rency Bureau new notes to be issued by them- 
selves. That these results are due to the im- 
position of a limitation upon the amount of 
the bank circulation of the country and to 
the consequent enhancement of the profits of 
the banks, is easily demonstrated. The na- 
tional banker reaps double interest on his 
money — one on the bonds deposited for se- 
curity, and one on the circulation issued to 
him upon those bonds and used by him in his 
business. Granting, what for most country 
districts — where the banks organized without 
a sufficient basis of legitimate business are 
commonly situated — is an extravagant esti- 
mate, that the taxes would consume the profit 
derived from circulation, it would neverthe- 
less follow that, if the profit derived from gen- 
eral business should be more than sufficient 
to pay expenses, the investment in the stock 
of the bank would be more profitable than 
United States bonds, and would consequently 
attract capital. As the expense of conduct- 
ing country banks is very light, it might well 



happen that a bank would be a profitable in- 
vestment to its stockholders in a place where, 
without the advantage given to it by the dou- 
ble interest, the legitimate banking business 
would be inadequate to support such an en- 
terprise. Such being the case, it would un- 
questionably ensue, since the distribution of 
the currency was made — and could be prac- 
tically made in most instances — on scarcely 
any other rule than that of " First come, first 
served," that many banks, attracted by the 
certainty of a paying profit on a very small 
business, would be established in places not 
transacting sufficient business to warrant their 
establishment, if unsupported by the double 
interest derived from bonds and circulation. 
Supposing the circulation allotted to a State to 
be no more than sufficient to meet the re- 
quirements of trade, it is evident that just to 
the extent that such banks should be estab- 
lished, places in need of banking facilities 
would be deprived of their proper proportion 
of banking capital, and the privilege of issuing 
circulation would be unfairly apportioned. 

A distinction should be made between an 
unfair apportionment of the right to issue cir- 
culation and an improper distribution of the 
currency itself. The former does not neces- 
sarily imply the latter. Circulation, wherever 
issued, will gravitate to those places where it 
is needed for the operations of trade. Banks 
may be established on the prairies of Nebras- 
ka or the alkali plains of Nevada, but if there 
is not sufficient local business to employ their 
circulation it will flow to the great centers of 
trade as certainly and as irresistibly as the 
Mississippi flows to the Gulf. Banks do not 
create capital, but are simply one of its forms 
of investment. Capital must exist before 
they can be established, and although they 
may provide a means for its temporary dis- 
tribution, through the agency of loans, they 
cannot directly add a dime to it. Such state- 
ments of elementary principles would seem to 
be needless, yet the prevalent ignorance of 
their existence is almost daily exemplified in 
the press and in the halls of legislation. Not 
long since many members of Congress from 
the West and South vehemently advocated a 
redistribution of the bank circulation in the 
interests of those sections, on the ground that, 
being poorer than the East, they should have 
a greater proportion of circulation, in order to 
correct the inequality in wealth ! 

Inasmuch, therefore, as the circulation pos- 
sesses the power of distributing itself, the un- 
fairness of which we speak extends only to 
the apportionment of the right to issue it. 
But, although the circulation eventually flows 



424 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



to the places where it is needed, the granting 
of the privilege of issuing it to banks in lo- 
calities where it is not required for legitimate 
business operations is none the less injurious 
in its effects. The banks thus situated are 
compelled to make use of their circulation in 
some profitable manner, in order to pay divi- 
dends. If it is not taken up by legitimate 
business, it will inevitably be employed in 
speculative enterprises. The banks cannot 
afford to keep it idle in their vaults, and the 
temptation to lend it at profitable rates in fur- 
therance of hazardous schemes, when no other 
means of obtaining a profit on it presents 
itself, cannot be resisted by the ordinary bank 
manager. It may be that the circulation, in- 
stead of being employed at home in this man- 
ner, is deposited at interest with banks situ- 
ated in the great centers of business. The 
evil is not, however, obviated by such a 
course. The banks with which it is deposited 
are compelled, in order to cover themselves, 
to keep these deposits constantly employed 
in some manner which will bring in a greater 
rate of interest than that paid for them. If 
there is sufficient demand for money for 
proper purposes to keep the whole amount 
in use at paying rates, no bad results en- 
sue ; but if, as must often happen, the entire 
sum is not taken up in this manner, the 
only alternative for the banks, in order to save 
themselves from loss, is to lend the remainder 
for speculative purposes. It thus appears 
that the unfair apportionment of the right to 
issue circulation is almost certain in any case 
to foster speculation. 

IRREDEEMABILITY OF THE NATIONAL CUR- 
RENCY. 

The worst feature of the present bank cir- 
culation is its irredeemability. Although 
nominally redeemable in United States notes 
by the banks which issued it, and their re- 
deeming agents, yet so slight a portion of it is 
sent in for redemption that the banks are 
practically freed from the responsibility of 
redeeming their notes. When this state of 
things is analyzed, it discloses the fact that the 
whole national bank circulation of the coun- 
try is, in effect, a permanent loan, without in- 
terest, from the people to the banks. This 
statement may be rendered clearer by an il- 
lustration. A national bank is organized with 
a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, 
which is invested in United States bonds and 
deposited with the Treasury Department at 
Washington as security for circulation. In 
return for this deposit there is delivered to 
the bank ninety thousand dollars in circulat- 



ing notes, which are immediately put in cir- 
culation by it, in discounting paper, making 
loans, and in other profitable ways. If these 
notes remain in circulation for an indefinite 
time, there can be no question that for that 
time they are quite as useful and profitable 
to the bank as if they were United States 
notes, or any other circulating representative 
of value. If the reader should be so fortunate 
as to be the owner of one hundred thousand 
dollars in United States bonds, he would not 
be able — provided that he is not a national 
banker — to realize more than a single interest 
on the investment. He might deposit them 
as collateral to his notes, as the national bank 
virtually does, but, unlike the bank, he would 
be compelled to pay interest on the notes, so 
that the interest derived from his bonds would 
be offset by the interest exacted on the money 
borrowed. Manage it as he might, he would 
find himself able to reap interest but once on 
his hundred thousand dollars. But the na- 
tional bank, with the same amount invested in 
the same manner, has no difficulty in obtain- 
ing, in addition to the interest on its bonds, 
ninety thousand dollars more which it can use 
for purposes of profit. For all purposes of 
benefit to it, these ninety thousand dollars con- 
stitute a loan to the bank, for an indefinite 
period, without interest. But a loan supposes 
not only a borrower but a lender ; — who is 
the lender in this case ? Certainly, it will be 
said, no one is the loser, and if the national 
bankers are the gainers it would be ungener- 
ous to grumble at their good fortune. Let us 
look into this a little. A moment's reflection 
will convince any one that inasmuch as the 
national bank, without any greater merit or 
effort, possesses so large an advantage, in the 
profitable use of its capital, over all members 
of the community whose capital is otherwise 
invested, this advantage must be gained at 
their expense. Its undue proportion of 
profit must be compensated by the de- 
crease of the profits of others. The bank 
produces nothing ; it adds nothing to the ag- 
gregate wealth of the community, except as 
an instrument for facilitating trade and ex- 
change. On whom then does the loss fall ? 
At whose expense are the unnaturally in- 
creased profits of the banks realized ? The 
answer, in the light of what has been said, is 
obvious : the loss falls upon the whole com- 
munity — upon every person by whom a bank 
note is received or held. There is no escap- 
ing this conclusion. If A. takes B.'s note 
without interest, and gives him in return for 
it its face value in money, trade, or credit, 
which B. can use to his profit, it is clear that 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



425 



B.'s profit is at A.'s expense. A. has taken an 
obligation from B. which yields no profit to 
the taker, and by so doing has enabled B. to 
realize a profit. Just this is what every per- 
son who takes a bank note does. He gives 
value, either directly or indirectly, to the bank, 
upon which it can realize profit, and takes in 
return an obligation of the bank which yields 
no profit to him. The people, then, are the 
lenders to the banks, lenders without interest 
of the whole amount of the bank circulation 
of the country. But, it may be objected, no 
one feels this burden ; no one's profits are 
perceptibly diminished by it, and therefore no 
real harm is done. These facts, so far from 
being a palliation, are but an aggravation of 
the evil. Self-interest may be trusted to im- 
pel men to resist unjust taxation which is plain 
to be seen of all men, but the enemy to be 
feared is the one that comes, like the vampire, 
in the dark, and saps the victim's life-blood 
without his knowledge. How great a tax 
upon the industries of the country the bank 
circulation is, may be realized when it is stated 
that, according to the report of the Comp- 
troller of the Currency for 1870, — an authority 
by no means hostile to the banks, — the aver- 
age profit derived by national banks from their 
circulation is 5 per ct. per annum. Five per 
ct. on three hundred and twenty-six and one- 
half million dollars — about the present amount 
of national currency outstanding — is sixteen 
million three hundred and twenty-five thousand 
dollars. This, then, is the trifling tax which the 
people of this country pay for the mainte- 
nance of the national banking system. Six- 
teen and one-third millions taken each year 
from the hard-earned profits of the people 
and transferred to the coffers of the banks ! 
Let no one then delude himself with the idea 
that no harm is done by this tax. The diver- 
sion of sixteen and a third millions of dol- 
lars every year from its proper channel can- 
not fail to work serious injury to the indus- 
trial interests of the country. So great an 
amount annually deducted from the earnings 
of labor and legitimate trade, and added to 
the profits of capitalists, however slight its ap- 
parent effect upon each individual may be, 
must inevitably, in its aggregate result, be 
vastly detrimental to the true interests of the 
country. For it must be borne in mind that 
the profits of one class of the community can- 
not be unduly and unnaturally augmented 
without a corresponding decrease of the 
profits or the capital of the remainder of the 
community. The productions of the coun- 
try have a certain value, out of which the 
wages and profits of all members and classes 



of the community must be paid. No class can 
appropriate to itself more than its share of 
that value without injury to other classes. 
Any system which unduly adds to the profits 
of the capitalist subtracts an equal amount 
from the earnings of the producer and the 
laborer. 

It behooves us next to inquire to what 
causes is due this irredeemability which is so 
disastrous in its results. The main causes 
are two. One, to which allusion has already 
been made, is the limitation which has been 
placed upon its amount. The banks already 
organized possessing a monopoly of the privi- 
lege of issuing circulating notes, and the circu- 
lation of the country being no more than suf- 
ficient for the requirements of trade, each 
bank is able to keep out its whole circulation 
without endeavoring to push home that of 
other banks. The people, too, knowing that 
bank notes are equally good with United 
States notes for the payment of taxes, and, by 
consequence, of nearly all private debts, pos- 
sess no inducement to refuse to receive them, 
or to present them, when received, for re- 
demption. And this brings us to the other 
and most potent reason for the irredeemabil- 
ity of the National Currency. This is the 
fact that it is made by law receivable at par 
in all parts of the United States for all cur- 
rency dues to and from the United States. 
This provision, more than all others, is the 
fountain from which the irredeemability of the 
national bank circulation flows. The United 
States by this enactment sets its seal upon 
every national bank note, declaring thereby 
that for all purposes of the general govern- 
ment it is equally good with the notes of the 
United States. This fact, while the receipts 
and expenditures of the government continue 
so large as now, aggregating as they did no 
less than six hundred and seventy-five million 
dollars for the fiscal year which ended June 
30, 1 87 1, cannot fail to exercise a controlling 
influence upon the condition of the national 
currency. So long as it shall be receivable 
by every postmaster for postage ; by every In- 
ternal Revenue collector for internal taxes ; 
by every receiver of a land-office for pub- 
lic lands ; by the Patent Office for patent 
fees ; by the Treasury for its sales of gold ; 
by the War and Navy Departments for their 
sales of stores; so long, in brief, as it shall 
be receivable by the officers of the govern- 
ment for all currency dues to the United 
States, so long will it be impossible to con- 
vince any one who holds it that there is any 
necessity for presenting it for redemption, 
and so long will its irredeemability continue, 



426 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



unless, indeed, it should be overcome to some 
extent by the repeal of the limitation upon 
the amount which may be lawfully issued. 

EXCESSIVE PROFITS OF NATIONAL BANKS. 

The last feature of the system to which we 
desire to call attention is the result of all 
those of which we have treated. It is the 
defect which gives all the others their sting, 
and without which they would be compara- 
tively innocuous. We refer to the exorbitant 
profits which the national banking system, with 
all its disadvantageous features, enables the 
banks to divide. 

The national banks were not required 
to make any reports of the dividends de- 
clared by them until March 3, 1869, when 
an act was passed which made it the duty 
of each national bank to report to the 
Comptroller of the Currency, within ten days 
after its declaration, the amount of each divi- 
dend declared by it, and the amount of its net 
earnings in excess of such dividend. The 
only information, other than that contained in 
the archives of the Department at Washing- 
ton, which is possessed concerning these re- 
ports of dividends and net earnings, is embod- 
ied in a report made by the Comptroller to 
the House of Representatives on the 2 2d of 
January, 1870, in compliance with a resolution 
of that body, passed December 21, 1869. It 
should be borne in mind that the year 1869 
was not a profitable year for most business 
operations. The course of the price of gold 
throughout the year was steadily downward, 
and with that of gold sank also the prices 
of most commodities and kinds of property. 
The remarks concerning the year 1870 con- 
tained in the report of the Comptroller of the 
Currency for that year apply with at least 
equal force to the year 1869. "The profits" 
[of National Banks], he says, "have not been 
so large as in former years, owing to various 
causes, among which may be noted the de- 
cline in the premium on gold, a reduction in 
the amount of transactions in government 
bonds, and consequent falling off in commis- 
sions, and the fact that, owing to the general 
shrinkage of values which has taken place, 
the banks generally have realized their losses 
and charged off the bulk of their bad debts." 
And yet, notwithstanding these disadvantage- 
ous conditions, the average percentage of clear 
profits, including dividends and net earnings 
in excess of dividends, for the first dividend 
period of six months embraced in the Comp- 
troller's report to the House of Representatives 
was six and eighty-eight one-hundredths, and 
for the second period six and seventy-five one- 



hundredths, making an aggregate net profit for 
the year, clear of all taxes, expenses, losses, 
and abatements whatever, of thirteen and 
sixty-three one-hundredths per centum. When 
it is remembered that this is the average rate 
of net profits of all the national banks which 
paid any dividends at all during the year, in- 
cluding those unfavorably situated or badly 
managed, and those which had sustained losses 
through either mismanagement or dishonesty, 
the profitableness of the national banking 
system will be clearly realized. It is doubt- 
ful whether there is any business pursued 
within the United States, not favored by spe- 
cial legislation or attended with exceptional 
risk, danger, or disrepute, whose average net 
profits are so great as those indicated by these 
figures. Instances may doubtless be pointed 
out where certain individuals or sets of indi- 
viduals, in the pursuit of some business not 
belonging to the classes which we have ex- 
cepted, have realized higher profits; but it 
would be found that when their profits had 
been averaged with those of the same business 
throughout the United States, they would fall 
much below those of national banks. Numer- 
ous cases could be adduced, by almost any one, 
of merchants engaged, for instance, in the 
dry-goods trade, who had realized a much 
larger net profit ; but if the profits of all the 
dry-goods merchants in the country should be 
averaged, — if from the aggregate profits should 
be deducted all the losses of merchants who 
had made unfortunate ventures or had failed, 
— the average net profits would unquestion- 
ably be brought down to a much smaller figure 
than that shown by the dividend reports of 
the national banks. So, too, a business which 
is usually exposed to exceptional risks may in 
a fortunate season reap exceptional profits ; 
but if its profits for a number of seasons, favor- 
able and unfavorable included, should be ave- 
raged, the net profits would be reduced to a 
much lower rate. Pursuits which expose those 
who may engage in them to great personal 
danger, or are considered disreputable or un- 
pleasant, may show a larger average net profit; 
but the danger, disrepute, or unpleasantness 
with which they are attended may be consid- 
ered as a fair offset to the excess of their 
profits over those of pursuits not subject to 
these drawbacks. 

The business of banking is exposed to 
very few risks — indeed, to no special risks. 
Embezzlement, robbery, or mismanagement 
may, it is true, ruin a bank, or impair its 
profits or capital ; but these are disasters to 
which all businesses are alike exposed. So, 
too, a financial panic may sweep over the 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



427 



land and involve all banks in common distress 
or ruin. But the effects of these are not con- 
fined to banks alone ; they affect in equal or 
greater degree the whole business community, 
with whose misfortunes the banks of neces- 
sity sympathize. But, aside from the risks to 
which it is exposed in common with all other 
business pursuits, banking is an eminently safe 
business, probably subjected to as few risks as 
any involving the investment of capital that 
can be mentioned. It is also in an unusual 
degree pleasant and honorable. Its exactions 
of time and labor are light as compared with 
other pursuits, while those engaged in it are 
ranked among the most reputable and honor- 
ed members of the community. There is, 
consequently, no reason in the nature of things 
why the profits of national banks should be 
so great. It would rather appear that a slight 
advantage in the percentage of income deriv- 
ed from investments in national bank stock 
over the legal interest on money would be a 
sufficient inducement to attract all the capital 
which would be required for the conduct of 
the banking business of the country. It would 
seem that, at the highest estimate, under a 
normal condition of the business, the assur- 
ance of two or three per cent, greater profit 
than could be realized from what are consid- 
ered absolutely safe investments — such as gov- 
ernment stocks, or loans on real estate — would 
compensate for all the additional risk to 
which capital would be exposed when invested 
in the business of banking. This conclusion 
may be reasonably drawn from the laws of 
supply and demand. 

But so far from finding the result that 
might have been expected, under a natural 
and healthy condition of the business, we per- 
ceive that its profits are nearly, if not quite, 
double the average legal interest on money, 
and more than double the interest on Uni- 
ted States stocks. If a simple farmer or 
tradesman becomes the possessor of a few 
hundred surplus dollars which he wishes to 
loan on real estate or in any other manner, 
the usury laws of most of the States, and usu- 
ally the inexorable natural laws of trade also, 
limit the interest which he may receive to six or 
seven per cent, per annum j while the wealthy 
capitalist who has been so fortunate as to in- 
vest in national bank stock may rely upon an 
income from the investment of nearly double 
those rates. Such a discrimination in favor 
of investments in a particular kind of corpo- 
rate capital, if it can be traced to the door of 
legislation, is eminently unjust. Giving, as it 
does, an undue and unmerited share of the 
aggregate profits of the community to a favor- 



ed portion of its members, it impairs in an 
equal degree the profits of the remainder. 
Such an effect is baneful in the last degree. 
It becomes important, then, to ascertain to 
what causes the enormous profits of the na- 
tional banking system are due, so that, if they 
lie within the province of legislation, they may 
be corrected. 

We may reasonably conclude, since the 
profits of all enterprises under the operation 
of natural laws seek a common level, that 
these causes may be found in the legal de- 
fects of the system, — in the anomalous pro- 
visions which have been ingrafted upon it by 
legislation. But before studying these causes 
let us retrace our steps and briefly consider 
again the three great defects of the system 
which we have been examining : — Monop- 
oly, Unfair Apportionment of the Right to 
Issue Circulation, and Irredeemability of the 
National Currency. The second defect we 
have shown to be but a result of the first. 
We may then properly resort to the other two 
for an answer to our inquiry. We find both 
of these defects to pertain to the circulation, 
for the monopoly which the system creates is 
a monopoly of only the right to issue circula- 
ting notes, and not of the other branches of the 
business. For any person, so far as the general 
law is concerned, upon payment to the Inter- 
nal Revenue Department of taxes equal in 
rate to the duties collected by the Treasurer 
of the United States from national banks, may 
receive deposits, buy and sell exchange, bonds 
and securities, discount paper, loan money, 
and engage in any and all of the other branches 
of the banking business, except the issuing of 
circulating notes. That privilege is practi- 
cally confined to the national banks by the 
imposition of a prohibitory tax of ten per 
cent, per annum " on the notes of any person, 
State bank, or State banking association, used 
for circulation." The monopoly then only 
extends to the circulation, of which irredeem- 
ability is but another feature. We may there- 
fore rightly conclude that the source of the un- 
due profits of the national banks, as compared 
with other equally safe investments of capital, 
is to be found in their possession of a monop- 
oly of the privilege of issuing circulating notes, 
and in their practical freedom, under the oper- 
ation of existing laws, from the responsibility 
of redeeming them. We find that these con- 
clusions are borne out by the facts. The 
Comptroller of the Currency, in his report 
for 1870, in the following statements furnishes 
important confirmation of our conclusions : 
" The privilege of issuing circulating notes is 
no more valuable as a franchise under Federal 



428 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



authority than it always has been under State 
authority. The profits derived from it are 
usually over-estimated. A fair estimate of 
the average percentage of profit on circula- 
tion will not much exceed five per cent., and 
this is just about the average rate paid by 
national banks ; so that the profits derived 
from the business of banking depend chiefly 
upon the amount of deposits, which, after 
all, constitute the true basis of banking." 
Although we have quoted this passage chiefly 
for the purpose of showing the estimate made 
of the profits derived from circulation, we 
cannot permit its statements on other points 
to pass unchallenged. In the light of the 
previous discussion, the privilege of issuing 
circulating notes is indisputably more valu- 
able under the National system than it could 
have been under any State system, for the ob- 
vious reason that the national banks are not 
in practice required to redeem their notes, 
while an amount equal to the whole volume 
of its circulation came into each State bank 
for redemption, under any well-regulated 
State system, every few months. The New 
York State banks, it is estimated, redeemed 
an amount equal to their whole circulation 
every sixty or ninety days. It is absurd to say 
that no more profit can be derived from a cir- 
culation, all of which remains permanently 
outstanding, and for whose redemption no pro- 
vision is needed, than was realized from one 
all of which came in for redemption every 
few months, to provide for which the banks 
had to constantly keep large reserves on 
hand. It requires no more than the state- 
ment of these facts to convince any one that 
the national currency must be a source of 
vastly greater profit to the banks than the old 
State bank circulation ever was. 

By what process of computation the Comp- 
troller charges the whole amount of taxation 
paid by national banks against the profits on 
their circulation, we are unable to guess. It 
would seem to be quite as fair to charge it 
against the profits on deposits, and then to 
conclude that the circulation was the chief 
source of profit. The inference from his con- 
clusions would seem to be that, inasmuch as 
the profit on circulation happens to be about 
equal to the taxation, the other items must be 
considered as the true sources of profit, and 
that therefore the entire thirteen and sixty- 
three one-hundredths percentage of net profit 
is properly attributable to them. The truth 
is that the taxes of the banks are distrib- 
uted over all their sources of profit — their 
circulation, deposits, capital stock, divi- 
dends, and surpluses. The proper course 



would have been to apportion the five per cent, 
of taxation among these different items, and 
we presume from the result reached that, in 
making his estimate of the profit on circula- 
tion, the Comptroller did deduct from the 
gross profit at least its fair share of taxation. 
Following this course, we find that if the cir- 
culation brings in five per cent, of net profit, 
only the remainder of the whole net profit must 
be referred to the other items. Deducting the 
five per cent, derived from circulation from the 
total net profit of thirteen and sixty-three one- 
hundredths per cent., we find the profit on other 
items eight and sixty-three one-hundredths 
per cent., a result widely different from that 
to which the Comptroller's logic would lead 
us. Accepting, however, as a fact his state- 
ment that the profits derived from circulation 
are just about sufficient to pay all the taxes 
of national banks, we have a convincing proof 
of the unjust operation of the system. The 
statement, put into other words, means exactly 
this : that the national banks have been gra- 
tuitously presented by the government with 
a franchise the profits of which, under exist- 
ing laws and conditions, pay all of their taxes 
and leave the remainder of their business ab- 
solutely free from taxation. What a mon- 
strous discrimination in their favor is this ! 
While all the remainder of the capital of the 
country is groaning under an oppressive load 
of taxation, the national banks alone are pre- 
sented with the privilege of making good from 
the earnings of the people all the taxes levied 
upon their immense business. 

When we consider that many banks through- 
out the country are doing a thriving business 
without issuing any circulation at all, we can 
come to no other conclusion than that if such 
banks are able to make a fair profit after meet- 
ing all the demands of the tax-gatherer, na- 
tional banks equally well situated and well 
managed must be able to make just about 
five per cent, more than a fair profit.* 



* It may be objected to the foregoing remarks con- 
cerning the profits of the banks, that they leave out of 
sight the fact that the banks have large surpluses, which 
are a part of their working capital, and to which should 
be assigned their proper proportion of profits, thus re- 
ducing the percentage of average profits. This objec- 
tion would be just, if its force were not almost if not 
quite neutralized by the following facts : — 

1. The surpluses do not entitle the banks to addi- 
tional circulation, and are therefore less profitable than 
capital. 

2. In consequence of the limitation of the amount 
of circulation, many banks have either no circulation or 
a less amount than ninety per cent, of their capital, 
and consequently divide smaller profits than those hav- 
ing their full proportion. As our criticisms are leveled 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



420 



REMEDIES. 

We have thus passed in review what, in our 
opinion, are the great defects of the National 
Banking System — the Monopoly of the Privi- 
lege of issuing Circulation by certain favored 
corporations, the Unfair Apportionment of that 
Privilege, and the Irredeemability of the Bank 
Currency, and, finally, the Enormous Profits 
of the Banks. It now remains for us to point 
out the remedies for these defects. 

The remedies which we shall propose have 
probably been foreseen by the reader from the 
foregoing discussion. They are simple and 
practicable, and, what will recommend them 
to most liberal minds, they tend to the free- 
ing and not to the shackling of business. 
We are no believer in those cumbrous expe- 
dients of legislation which seem to spring from 
the notion that it is the natural tendency of 
things to go wrong, and that it is the proper 
province of the law-maker to pass laws which 
by restrictions, penalties, and like devices shall 
compel them to go right. We believe in most 
instances such laws are hindrances rather 
than helps. We have the most unbounded 
confidence in natural laws, and but very 

mainly at circulation, such banks should be excluded 
from the calculation. The total circulation of the 
banks at the close of 1869 was less than seventy per 
cent, of their capital. 

3. The banks are permitted to charge to their profit 
and loss accounts the premiums paid on bonds owned 
by them, and to report the bonds at their par value 
among their resources. It is not known to what ex- 
tent this has been done ; but as the United States bonds 
held by them at the close of 1869 amounted to over 
$380,000,000, the cost of which ranged from par to a 
premium of twenty per cent., while their premium ac- 
counts amounted to but $2,439,591.41, it is evident 
that an immense amount of premiums had been charged 
to profit and loss. It is but fair to assume that a due 
proportion was so charged in 1869 — the year whose 
profits we have considered. As these bonds are proba- 
bly now worth on an average more than they cost, the 
premium's paid ought not to be deducted in reckoning 
actual profits. 

4. As before stated, the profits of the banks in 1869 
were probably not so large as usual. Although the 
official figures for the profits of subsequent years, on 
file in the Currency Bureau at Washington, cannot be 
obtained until called for by Congress, there is good 
reason for believing that they show an increase over 
the profits of 1869. 

5. As also stated before, the capitals of all unfortu- 
nate, badly located, and mismanaged banks that made 
any profits at all were necessarily included in reckon- 
ing the average profits. 

For these reasons the passages relating to profits 
have been allowed to stand. We are calculating the 
profits that are due to the peculiar features of the Na- 
tional Banking System, and we have a right in estimat- 
ing them to include only such banks as are well loca- 
ted, well and honestly managed, and have their full pro- 
portion of circulation. We do not believe that the 
profits of such banks have been exaggerated by us. 



little faith in the legislative contrivances of 
men, when they overstep the limit of repress- 
ing and redressing crime and wrong-doing. It 
may therefore be expected that our remedies 
will look to the repeal of restrictive and arti- 
ficial enactments rather than to the imposition 
of new restrictions or the adoption of new ex- 
pedients. 

The remedies which we offer are simply 
these : the repeal of the limitation upon the 
amount of the bank circulation, and of the 
provision making national currency receivable 
in payment of currency dues to and from the 
United States — the one imposing a restric- 
tion on the freedom of business, the other 
giving to bank notes an artificial value which 
they do not really possess. The first of these 
proposed remedies has been advocated by 
many, and is known as free-banking ; the other, 
though quite as important, and aimed at as 
great an infringement of principle, we have 
never seen proposed. We shall show that 
these simple remedies, necessitating no com- 
plicated measures of legislation, and involving 
nothing but a repeal of foolish and ill-consid- 
ered enactments, are a sufficient cure for all 
the evils that we have pointed out. Upon the 
larger question, whether it is desirable that 
any legislative sanction should be given to 
the issuing of circulating notes by banks, we 
shall not at present enter. We know that 
many able minds have come to a negative 
conclusion ; but we also know that it is the 
almost unanimous sentiment of the country 
at this day that banks of issue are the indis- 
pensable allies of trade, and that the regula- 
tion of their modes of operation is a proper 
subject of legislation. Our remedies are pro- 
posed, therefore, for the purpose of improving 
the system which has been founded on this 
opinion, rather than of indicating what in our 
opinion would be a perfect system. 

Before proceeding to show what would be 
the result of the application of these reme- 
dies, it will be proper to prove that the pro- 
visions whose repeal we suggest transgress the 
bounds of the proper functions of legislation, 
and are at variance with the teachings of 
political economy, and that their repeal is de- 
sirable for that reason on grounds of principle, 
independently of their bearing upon the de- 
fects to which we have adverted. Both are, 
however, parts of the same result, for when- 
ever, in the consideration of any subject, we 
find that principles have been violated, we 
shall be able to trace disastrous consequences, 
and, conversely, we shall usually be able to 
trace disastrous results back to violated prin- 
ciples. 



43° 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



REPEAL OF THE LIMITATION ON CIRCULATION. 

Although the propriety of placing a lim- 
itation on the bank circulation of the country 
seems to have received on all sides almost 
unquestioning assent, yet it can be defended 
on no ground of principle or policy. It is a 
wanton, causeless hampering of individual 
freedom of action, the offspring of a miscon- 
ception of the proper functions of legislation 
and of ignorance of the elementary principles 
of political economy. So harsh a statement 
as this demands strict proof, and it shall re- 
ceive the strictest proof of which the nature 
of the subject will admit. 

No principle is more firmly imbedded in 
the foundation of our fabric of government, 
or more generally accepted by the leading 
liberal minds of the world, than that it is 
the natural inalienable right of every indi- 
vidual to pursue his own happiness or in- 
terest in his own way, provided only that 
he do not interfere with -the enjoyment of 
the like right by others. This principle is 
the corner-stone of the American system of 
government, the one which former builders 
had indeed rejected, to the detriment and 
downfall of their superstructures, but which 
our forefathers wisely made the head of the 
corner, to their imperishable glory, and to 
the solidity and permanency of the fabric 
which they reared. So long as it shall remain 
in place, our liberties are safe ; but if ever it 
shall be wrenched from its position, the 
downfall of popular freedom will inevitably 
follow. Our first step, then, in examining 
any act of legislation, should be to test it by 
this important and fundamental principle. 
Should it be found at variance therewith, 
it should be unhesitatingly cast aside as 
vicious and dangerous. Applying this test, 
then, to the question before us, and conced- 
ing for the nonce that the issuing of circulat- 
ing notes is a proper and legitimate business, 
we find ourselves unable to justify the imposi- 
tion of any limitation upon the amount of 
circulating notes which may be issued. If it 
is proper at all, it is as proper for me as for 
my neighbor. If it is a rightful mode of earn- 
ing money, it follows from the principle which 
we have stated that it is equally rightful for all 
the citizens of the State. But it may be ob- 
jected that this argument proves too much, 
and therefore defeats itself; that it would legit- 
imately follow from it that all limitations upon 
the issuing of circulating notes should be 
abolished, and that whoever pleases should be 
allowed to issue them without the deposit of 
security, or compliance with any of the other 
restrictive provisions of the present law. Such 



an objection would not, however, be valid. 
The argument simply proves that all persons 
who wish to engage in the national banking 
business, and to issue circulating notes, are of 
right entitled to do so on equal terms, not 
that no terms at all should be exacted. The 
conditions which limit the issuing of circulat- 
ing notes, by requiring the deposit of security 
and by kindred provisions, have been found 
necessary during a long course of experience 
to protect the public from imposition by the 
formation of fraudulent banks and the issuing 
of worthless notes. No principle is violated 
by their exaction, since they apply alike to all 
and hamper the freedom of action of no mem- 
bers of the community any farther than is 
necessary for the protection of the rights of 
others. They are founded upon the proviso 
of the principle which we have stated, while 
the limitation of the amount of circulation is 
capable of no such justification. 

We are aware that this reference to princi- 
ples will be stigmatized by some as casuistical 
and transcendental. It is a common practice 
of those who style themselves practical men, 
and who have never risen above the narrow 
circle of facts which surround them to a per- 
ception of the great laws by which all facts 
are governed, to denounce every reference to 
principles as visionary and idle, and to de- 
clare that the only safe guide is experience. 
Such an objection, aimed as it is at the very 
root of our argument, deserves a moment's 
consideration. — We may affirm, without risk 
of dissent, that certain great fundamental 
principles were assumed and recognized in 
the very inception of our system of govern- 
ment. It is not necessary now to consider 
from what source they were derived. It is 
sufficient for the purpose that they were recog- 
nized and adopted, that they have have been 
acquiesced in by all parties and classes of 
our people, and that they. have been recog- 
nized by the whole world as the distinguish- 
ing features of the American system. Such 
being the fact, it follows that unless these 
principles can be overthrown in their entirety, 
any conclusion which can be legitimately de- 
duced from them may be properly advanced 
as an argument for or against any measure 
existing or proposed, and should be recog- 
nized as possessing controlling force. In the 
present argument the impropriety of imposing 
any limitation on the amount of bank circu- 
lation which may be issued has been legiti- 
mately deduced from one of the fundamental 
principles of our system of government. Un- 
til that principle shall be shown to be wrong, 
the conclusion, if legitimately reached, must 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



43i 



be accepted, despite any fancied variance with 
the teachings of experience. An illustration 
may make the last point clearer. " No taxa- 
tion without representation" was the rallying- 
cry of the fathers of the republic. Suppose 
that an attempt should be made to prove by 
elaborate statistics, and reference to the expe- 
rience of mankind, that, as a rule, people who 
are taxed without representation are freer, 
happier, and better oft in every respect than 
those who have a voice in the levying of their 
taxes, — would any American deem it neces- 
sary to refute such a presentation? He 
would rather think it sufficient to reply that 
the right to a voice in making the laws by 
which he is governed is inherent in every 
man, and that he cannot be divested of it 
without injury to his happiness and freedom. 

It having thus been shown that the imposi- 
tion of any limitation upon the amount of 
bank currency is a violation of principle, and 
the legitimacy of the mode of reaching that con- 
clusion having been vindicated, it remains to be 
shown that such a limitation is as inexpedient 
as it is violative of principle, — that it disregards 
the teachings of political economy equally 
with the proper functions of government. It 
would seem to have required but the most 
elementary knowledge of that science on the 
part of our law-makers to teach them that 
the amount of currency which a country re- 
quires at any time cannot be determined by 
human intelligence. No man can estimate, 
with any approximation to correctness, how 
much currency the vast and complicated in- 
dustries and trades of our country require. 
But even if the question should be solved to- 
day, and the amount of currency fixed at an 
amount sufficient to meet the present de- 
mands of trade, we should be but little better 
off; for the tides of trade are constantly 
ebbing and flowing, and the currency required 
to meet its purposes varies with every ebb 
and flow, so that a solution of the question 
to-day would be an achievement of but tem- 
porary value. Next fall or next winter it 
would need to be solved over again, and a 
new limit set to the currency, and so on ad 
infinitum. 

Granting, however, that some means of as- 
certaining the aggregate amount of bank cur- 
rency required could be devised, the appor- 
tionment of the right to issue it among the 
different sections of the country with any de- 
gree of fairness would be a task requiring more 
than the wisdom of men. Population fur- 
nishes no certain guide, for it is apparent that 
a poor community requires less currency to 
conduct its business than is required by a 



wealthy community. Neither does property 
furnish any criterion, for active capital evi- 
dently requires more currency for its opera- 
tions than capital inactive. An agricultural 
community, whose products flow into the 
market mainly during a single season of 
the year requires less than a manufactur- 
ing community, of equal wealth, whose capi- 
tal is turned over many times during the year. 
Yet, regardless of the fact that the solu- 
tion of these questions transcends the limits 
of human knowledge, our legislators have pre- 
sumptuously attempted to solve them, and, 
adopting an odd conglomeration of the popu- 
lation and property bases, have decreed that 
half of the national currency shall be appor- 
tioned according to population and half ac- 
cording to existing banking capital, resources, 
and business. Why half was accorded to 
each, unless as a compromise measure, it is 
impossible to guess. It would seem that if 
either basis were the proper one, it would ex- 
clude the other, and should have been alone 
adopted. An apportionment solely accord- 
ing to either population or banking capital, 
resources, and business, would be consistent, 
however unphilosophical or impracticable it 
might be ; but the plan adopted is neither con- 
sistent, philosophical, nor practicable. We 
say impracticable, as well as inconsistent and 
unphilosophical, because it is impossible to 
ascertain what the comparative "resources 
and business " of the various sections of the 
country are, with sufficient definiteness, to 
make them a correct guide in the apportion- 
ment of that half of the currency which has 
been generously awarded to them. 

The truth is, that the only proper limit to 
such a currency is the ability of the country 
to make use of it. There is no better reason 
why the amount of bank circulation to be is- 
sued should be limited, than for an arbitrary 
limitation upon the quantity of wheat to be 
raised, of coal to be mined, or of goods to be 
manufactured or sold. All are alike proper 
and legitimate enterprises, and should alike 
be governed solely by the law of supply and 
demand. No one expresses any fear that too 
much wheat will be raised, yet such an appre- 
hension would be no more groundless than that 
upon which the limitation of the circulation is 
based. The idea that the imposition of such 
a limitation is a proper exercise of the powers 
of legislation has, however, taken firm hold of 
the popular mind, and such is the innate con- 
servatism of human nature, that, when such a 
belief has been once adopted, it is a most dif- 
ficult task to lead men to look beneath the 
precedents which law-makers have established 



43 2 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



to ascertain whether they are based upon a 
foundation of principle. 

REPEAL OF THE PROVISION FOR RECEIPT OF 
BANK NOTES FOR PUBLIC DUES. 

The provision of law which makes the na- 
tional bank-notes receivable in payment of all 
currency dues to and from the United States 
seems never to have received the consid- 
eration to which it is entitled. Probably 
this is in part due to the fact that at the 
time of its adoption we were straining every 
nerve in the effort to prevent national 
disruption, — willing, in order to secure that 
result, to sacrifice everything save honor 
and right. So it happened that when the 
national banking system was devised for 
the purpose, in a great measure, of aid- 
ing the government in calling to its assist- 
ance the savings of the people, by facilitating 
the sale of the government loans, no induce- 
ment was thought too great which was con- 
sidered necessary to secure the investment of 
capital in national banks. Probably, too, the 
people, so far as they were consulted or had 
formed opinions, were deluded by the prom- 
ise of a currency which would be so amply se- 
cured that it would circulate at par in every 
part of the country, and would be directly 
available for the payment of taxes without the 
necessity of presenting it for redemption. In 
this manner was inserted in the national 
banking system a provision whose violations of 
principle doubtless caused the bones of Jack- 
son and Benton to turn in their graves. We 
have been unable to find, on a careful exami- 
nation of the debates which preceded the 
adoption of the first two national currency 
acts, that this provision provoked the slightest 
dissent or even criticism. One would sup- 
pose that a recollection of the thunders of 
Benton against a similar practice, — unsanc- 
tioned, however, by law, — in the days of Jack- 
son, and of the famous " Specie Circular " of 
the latter, would have inspired at least the 
Democratic members to protest against an in- 
fringement of what was once a cardinal prin- 
ciple of the Democratic faith. They contented 
themselves, however, with impotent protests 
against the invasion of " State Rights " which 
the measure, in their opinion, involved, and 
some of them strayed so far from the path 
made sacred by the footsteps of " Old Bul- 
lion " as to advocate an extension of the pro- 
vision to private as well as public debts ! 

Like the limitation upon the amount of cir- 
culation, this feature proves, when examined, 
to be indefensible upon every ground of prin- 
ciple or policy. However well secured they 



may be, bank notes, whether State or Na- 
tional, are the notes of private corporations, 
whose profits the government has no right to 
enhance by giving increased currency to their 
circulation. We have seen that circulation is 
a source of great profit to the banks, and that 
in proportion as the obligation to redeem it is 
lessened, their profits are increased. If the 
government receives and pays out the notes 
of the banks at par, it unquestionably gives 
them a much more extended and permanent 
circulation than they would otherwise possess, 
and consequently contributes to the profits of 
the banks. In thus contributing to the profits 
of the banks, it adds, as we have seen, to the 
burdens of the people, and thus inflicts a 
causeless injury upon the true interests of the 
country. 

The government should be the repre- 
sentative of the whole body of the people, 
and the guardian and conservator of their 
rights and interests, and it has no right by any 
action which it may take to add to the profits 
of a class at the expense of the remainder of 
the community. The fact that the notes are 
perfectly good does not affect the applica- 
tion of the principle. There is no doubt that 
A. T. Stewart's note would be good for an 
amount larger than the circulation of any 
bank in the United States ; yet it would be 
considered a glaring outrage if he should be 
permitted to pay in his note, either with or 
without interest, in satisfaction of ever so 
small a debt to the government. Nor does* 
the fact that the government itself holds the 
securities which insure the payment of the 
notes invalidate the argument, any more than 
the receipt of the note of any private indi- 
vidual by the government would be rendered 
proper by his depositing collateral to secure 
its payment. The fact is, that the govern- 
ment, in receiving bank notes, lends its credit 
to the banks to just the amount of the notes 
received, — a proceeding the very statement 
of which shows its utter indefensibility. 

It will be objected to the proposed repeal 
of this provision that the government has cer- 
tified to the goodness of the notes of the na- 
tional banks, and that by refusing to receive 
them it would be discrediting paper which it 
has virtually indorsed. But an indorser is 
not obliged to receive the note that he has 
indorsed whenever tendered in payment of a 
debt, but only to pay it in the event of the 
promisor's default. Experience has demon- 
strated, as believed by most, that public ne- 
cessity demands that bank circulation shall 
be secured by the deposit of securities with 
the government, either State or National. 



DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL BANKING SYSTEM. 



433 



In the interest of the people, not of the banks, 
the national government, under the present 
system, has undertaken the trust, and has cer- 
tified upon the face of each note that it is se- 
cured by the deposit of United States bonds 
with the Treasurer of the United States. The 
fact that it has accepted this trust and given 
this certificate imposes no obligation upon it 
to receive the note in payment of government 
dues. The certificate is plain and explicit, and 
neither its language nor its spirit would be vio- 
lated by the refusal of the government to re- 
ceive the note. 

The currency which their receipt and pay- 
ment by the government gives to bank notes 
will be appreciated if it be remembered that 
the notes received at any point are not un- 
frequently transferred to another far distant be- 
fore being paid out again. For instance, bank 
notes received by the Assistant Treasurer of 
the United States at New York may be trans- 
ferred to the Assistant Treasurer at New Or- 
leans, or those received at Chicago may be 
transferred to New York before being used in 
the government payments. It thus appears 
that, independently of the enhanced value 
which their availability for payments to the 
United States gives to the notes, the wide dis- 
tribution throughout the country that the 
government gives to many of those which it 
receives lessens the likelihood of their pre- 
sentation for payment, and so conduces to 
the benefit of the banks. 
• The only argument that can be adduced 
in favor of the receipt of bank notes by the 
government is that of convenience, — that it 
would be difficult, if not impossible, for the 
people to obtain currency for the payment 
of their taxes if bank notes should cease 
to be available for that purpose. While 
contending that principles should never be 
subordinated to considerations of conveni- 
ence, we may nevertheless prove that this 
argument is fallacious. The test of a per- 
son's ability to pay is the possession, not 
necessarily of money, but of capital or 
credit. If either of the latter is not want- 
ing, the former, which is but their representa- 
tive, will not fail to be forthcoming in some 
form, except in those primitive countries where 
trade is conducted wholly by barter. It is 
doubtless true that the possessors of bank 
notes in districts remote from banks would be 
unable to exchange them for United States 
notes with which to pay their taxes ; but if 
they, should know that the bank notes would 
not be received for taxes, and should be in 
need of currency for that purpose, they would 
refuse such notes whenever tendered in pay- 
Vol. III.— 28 



ment of debts due to them, and, as they might 
lawfully do, demand United States notes in- 
stead. And this, so far from being deplor- 
able, Would be a most salutary result, since 
it would limit bank notes to their proper 
office, — that of local and temporary circula- 
tion. 

EFFECTS OF THE REMEDIES PROPOSED. 

It remains to be considered what would be 
the practical effect of the application of these 
remedies, and especially upon the defects 
which we have pointed out. 

The repeal of the limitation upon the 
amount of bank circulation would necessarily 
destroy the monopoly which the present na- 
tional banks possess, and would thus relieve 
the system of the feature which is most odious 
to the American mind. Should the privilege 
of issuing circulation be extended on equal 
terms to all, and should the provision for the 
receipt of bank notes by the government be 
repealed, there could be no complaint that 
the benefits of the national currency act were 
bestowed on certain favored individuals, or 
that the business of banking w r as favored with 
special and exceptional privileges. The fea- 
tures of the deposit of security and of gov- 
ernmental supervision excepted, national 
banking would assume its place by the side 
of other legitimate enterprises. The busi- 
ness being open to healthful competition, 
ignorance, incompetency, and extravagance 
would be weeded out, and those banks which 
should be conducted with prudence and skill 
on sound business principles would alone suc- 
ceed. If the business, thus divested of special 
privileges and thrown open to all, should con- 
tinue to be more profitable than others, its 
lucrativeness could be properly ascribed only 
to the knowledge, skill, and experience re- 
quired to conduct it. 

The destruction of the monopoly would 
necessarily be accompanied by the rectifica- 
tion of the present unfairness in the appor- 
tionment of the right to issue circulation. 
Those places which are in need of additional 
banks of issue, but which have been debarred 
by the arbitrary apportionment of the circu- 
lation from satisfying their wants, would be 
able, should the limitation be repealed, to ob- 
tain all the circulation and banking facilities 
which they might require. On the other 
hand, those banks which, under the present 
apportionment, have been able to maintain a 
profitable existence upon the double interest 
which the investment returns, without doing, 
sufficient business to warrant a profit, being 



434 



BACK-LOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



driven to provide for the frequent redemption 
of their notes / and finding themselves in great 
measure deprived of one of their two principal 
sources of profit, would be forced to wind up 
their affairs and leave the field free to their 
more healthy competitors. The currency, no 
longer apportioned according to arbitrary en- 
actments, but left to the operation of natural 
laws, would distribute itself in accordance 
with the requirements of trade. Such a dis- 
tribution could not fail to be fair, because it 
would be healthy and natural. 

Under the operation of the two remedies 
which we have proposed, the redeemability of 
the national currency would be speedily se- 
cured. The result of the removal of the limi- 
tation upon the amount of the circulation 
would be that new banks would spring up to 
such an extent that the currency would be 
so increased that the country would be unable 
to permanently carry it all. The consequence 
of this would be that the surplus would be sent 
home for redemption, and that, as each bank 
would wish to keep out as much of its own 
circulation as possible, it would strive to force 
in the circulation of other banks. This con- 
sequence would be aided and hastened by the 
repeal of the provision for the receipt of na- 
tional currency by the United States, which 
would create a demand for United States 
notes for the payment of dues to the govern- 
ment. Persons having taxes to pay would 
either refuse to receive national bank notes, 
or, having received them, would be compelled 
to exchange them for United States notes, 
with brokers and others, who would make a 
business of sending them for redemption to 
the banks which issued them. The redeema- 
bility of the national currency having been 
secured, the country would possess that which 
so many ingenious but ill-fated plans have 
been formed to bring about — an elastic cur- 



rency ; one which would accommodate itself 
to the requirements of trade ; would expand 
when trade should be brisk and the demand 
for currency active, and contract when trade 
should become dull. And all this would be 
accomplished without the employment of any 
clumsy expedients of legislation, but simply 
by the repeal of former mistaken acts of our 
law-makers. 

Lastly, the profits of the banks under the 
operation of these remedies would be brought 
down to an equality with those derived from 
other similar investments of capital. The 
profits arising from circulation would, in con- 
sequence of the necessity of providing for 
its frequent redemption, be reduced to so small 
an amount that no bank could hope to exist 
on the revenue derived from its bonds and 
circulation, unless it should be supplemented 
by a much larger return from the pursuit of 
legitimate banking business ; while the profits 
on general business would be reduced by the 
competition resulting from the removal of all 
restraints on the establishment of banks. The 
business being open to all, capital, controlled 
by an intelligent self-interest, would flow into 
it until its profits should be so reduced that it 
would no longer offer special inducements to 
capitalists. 

In this simple and efficient manner all the 
serious defects of the national banking system 
would be remedied. The business of bank- 
ing — no longer fostered by special privileges 
or hampered by foolish restrictions, but left, as 
every business should be, to the operation of 
those natural laws which cannot be violated 
without disaster, but which, if not interfered 
with, are sure to work out vastly wiser and 
better results than any of the poor devices of 
men — would be established on a sound and 
enduring basis, from which it could be over- 
thrown by no slight convulsion of trade. 



BACK-TOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



The log was white birch. The beautiful 
satin bark at once kindled into a soft, pure, 
but brilliant flame, something like that of 
naphtha. There is no other wood flame so 
rich, and it leaps up in a joyous, spiritual 
way, as if glad to burn for the sake of burn- 
ing. Burning like a clear oil, it has none of 
the heaviness and fatness of the pine and the 
balsam. Woodsmen are at a loss to account 
for its intense and yet chaste flame, since the 



bark has no oily appearance. The heat from 
it is fierce and the light dazzling. It flares 
up eagerly like young love, and then dies 
away ; the wood does not keep up the prom- 
ise of the bark. The woodsmen, it is proper 
to say, have not considered it in its relation 
to young love. In the remote settlements 
the pine-knot is still the torch of courtship ; 
it endures to sit-up by. The birch-bark has 
alliances with the world of sentiment and of 
letters. The most poetical reputation of the 



BACK- LOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



435 



North American Indian floats in a canoe 
made of it ; his picture-writing was inscribed 
on it. It is the paper that nature furnishes 
for lovers in the wilderness, who are enabled 
to convey a delicate sentiment by its use 
which is expressed neither in their ideas nor 
chirography. It is inadequate for legal parch- 
ment, but does very well for deeds of love, 
which are not meant usually to give a perfect 
title. With care it may be split into sheets 
as thin as the Chinese paper. It is so beau- 
tiful to handle that it is a pity civilization can- 
not make more use of it. But fancy articles 
manufactured from it are very much like all 
ornamental work made of nature's perishable 
seeds, leaves, cones, and dry twigs — exquisite 
while the pretty fingers are fashioning them, 
but soon growing shabby and cheap to the eye. 
And yet there is a pathos in " dried things," 
whether they are displayed as ornaments in 
some secluded home, or hidden religiously in 
bureau-drawers where profane eyes cannot 
see how white ties are growing yellow and 
ink is fading from treasured letters, amid a 
faint and discouraging perfume of ancient 
rose-leaves. 

The birch log holds out very well while it 
is green, but has not substance enough for a 
back-log when dry. Seasoning green timber 
or men is always an experiment. A man 
may do very w r ell in a simple, let us say, coun- 
try, or back-woods line of life, who would 
come to nothing in a more complicated civ- 
ilization. City life is a severe trial. One 
man is struck with a dry-rot ; another devel- 
ops season-cracks ; another shrinks and 
swells with every change of circumstance. 
Prosperity is said to be more trying than ad- 
versity, a theory which most people are will- 
ing to accept without trial ; but few men 
stand the drying out of the natural sap of 
their greenness in the artificial heat of city 
life. This, "be it noticed, is nothing against 
the drying and seasoning process ; character 
must be put into the crucible some time, and 
why not in this world ? A man who cannot 
stand seasoning will not have a high market 
value in any part of the universe. It is 
creditable to the race, that so many men and 
women bravely jump into the furnace of pros- 
perity and expose themselves to the drying 
influences of city life. 

The first fire that is lighted on the hearth in 
the autumn seems to bring out the cold wea- 
ther. Deceived by the placid appearance of 
the dying year, the softness of the sky, and the 
warm color of foliage, we have been shiver- 
ing about for days without exactly compre- 
hending what was the matter. The open fire 



at once sets up a standard of comparison. 
We find that the advance guards of winter are 
besieging the house. The cold rushes in at 
every crack of door and window, apparently 
signaled by the flame to invade the house 
and fill it with chilly drafts and sarcasms on 
what we call the temperate zone. It needs a 
roaring fire to beat back the enemy ; a feeble 
one is only an invitation to the most insulting 
demonstrations. Our pious New England 
ancestors were philosophers in their way. It 
was not simply owing to grace that they sat 
for hours in their barn-like meeting-houses 
during the winter Sundays, the thermometer 
many degrees below freezing, with no fire, ex- 
cept the zeal in their own hearts — a congre- 
gation of red noses and bright eyes. It was 
no wonder that the minister in the pulpit 
warmed up to his subject, cried aloud, used 
hot words, spoke a good deal of the hot place 
and the Person whose presence was a burning 
shame, hammered the desk as if he expected 
to drive his text through a two-inch plank, 
and heated himself by all allowable ecclesias- 
tic gymnastics. A few of their followers in 
our day seem to forget that our modern 
churches are heated by furnaces and supplied 
with gas. In the old days it would have been 
thought unphilosophic as well as effeminate 
to warm the meeting-houses artificially. In 
one house I knew, at least, when it was pro- 
posed to introduce a stove to take a little of 
the chill from the Sunday services, the dea- 
cons protested against the innovation. They 
said that the stove might benefit those who 
sat close to it, but it would drive all the cold 
air to the other parts of the church and freeze 
the people to death ; it was cold enough now 
around the edges. Blessed days of ignorance 
and upright living ! Sturdy men who served 
God by resolutely sitting out the icy hours of 
service, amid the rattling of windows and the 
carousal of winter in the high wind-swept gal- 
leries ! Patient women, waiting in the chilly 
house for consumption to pick out his victims, 
and replace the cotor of youth and the flush 
of devotion with the hectic of disease ! At 
least you did not doze and droop in our over- 
heated edifices, and die of vitiated air, and dis- 
regard of the simplest conditions of organized 
life. It is fortunate that each generation 
does not comprehend its own ignorance. 
We are thus enabled to call our ancestors 
barbarous. It is something also that each 
age has its choice of the death it will die. 
Our generation is most ingenious. From our 
public assembly-rooms and houses we have 
almost succeeded in excluding pure air. It 
took the race ages to build dwellings that 



436 



BA CK-L OG S TUDIES—RENE WED. 



would keep out rain ; it has taken longer to 
build houses air-tight, but we are on the eve of 
success. We are only foiled by the ill-fitting, 
insincere work of the builders, who build for 
a day and charge for all time. 



When the fire on the hearth has blazed up 
and then settled into steady radiance, talk be- 
gins. There is no place like the chimney- 
corner for confidences ; for picking up the 
clues of an old friendship ; for taking note 
where one's self has drifted, by comparing 
ideas and prejudices with the intimate friend 
of years ago, whose course in life has lain 
apart from yours. No stranger puzzles you 
so much as the once close friend, with whose 
thinking and associates you have for years 
been unfamiliar. Life has come to mean this 
and that to you ; you have fallen into certain 
habits of thought ; for you the world has pro- 
gressed in this or that direction ; of certain 
results you feel very sure ; you have fallen 
into' harmony with your surroundings ; you 
meet day after day people interested in the 
things that interest you ; you are not in the 
least opinionated, it is simply your good for- 
tune to look upon the affairs of the world 
from the right point of view. When you last 
saw your friend — less than a year after you 
left college — he was the most sensible and 
agreeable of men ; he had no heterodox no- 
tions ; he agreed with you ; you could even 
tell what sort of a wife he would select, and 
if you could do that, you held the key to his 
life. 

Well, Herbert came to visit me the other 
day from the antipodes. And here he sits by 
the fire-place. I cannot think of any one I 
would rather see there — except perhaps 
Thackeray ; or, for entertainment, Boswell ; or 
old Pepys ; or one of the people who was left 
out of the Ark. They were talking one foggy 
London night at Hazlitt's about whom they 
would most like to have seen, when Charles 
Lamb startled the company by declaring that 
he would rather have seen Judas Iscariot than 
any other person who had lived on the earth. 
For myself, I would rather have seen Lamb 
himself once, than to have lived with Judas. 
Herbert, to my great delight, has not changed ; 
I should know him anywhere — the same seri- 
ous, contemplative face, with lurking humor 
at the corners of the mouth — the same cheery 
laugh and clear distinct enunciation as of old. 
There is nothing so winning as a good voice. 
To see Herbert again, unchanged in all out- 
ward essentials, is not only gratifying, but val- 
uable as a testimony to nature's success in 



holding on to a personal identity, through the 
entire change of matter that had been con- 
stantly taking place for so many years. I 
know very well there is here no part of the 
Herbert whose hand I had shaken at the Com- 
mencement parting ; but it is an astonishing 
reproduction of him — a material likeness ; 
and now for the spiritual. 

Such a wide chance for divergence in the 
spiritual. It has been such a busy world for 
twenty years. So many things have been torn 
up by the roots again that were settled when 
we left college. There were to be no more 
wars ; democracy was democracy, and prog- 
ress, the differentiation of the individual, 
was a mere question of clothes ; if you want 
to be different go to your tailor ; nobody had 
demonstrated that there is a man-soul and a 
woman-soul, and that each is in reality only a 
half-soul — putting the race, so to speak, upon 
the half-shell. The social oyster being opened, 
there appears to be two shells and only one 
oyster ; who shall have it ? So many new 
canons of taste, of criticism, of morality have 
been set up ; there has been such a resurrec- 
tion of historical reputations for new judg- 
ment, and there have been so many dis- 
coveries, geographical, archaeological, geolo- 
gical, biological, that the earth is not at all 
what it was supposed to be ; and our philos- 
ophers are much more anxious to ascertain 
where we came from than whither we are 
going. In this whirl and turmoil of new ideas, 
nature, which has only the single end of main- 
taining the physical identity in the body, works 
on undisturbed, replacing particle for particle, 
and preserving the likeness more skillfully than 
a mosaic artist in the Vatican ; she has not 
even her materials sorted and labeled, as the 
Roman artist has his thousands of bits of 
color ; and man is all the while doing his best 
to confuse the process, by changing his cli- 
mate, his diet, all his surroundings,, without 
the least care to remain himself. But the 
mind ? 

It is more difficult to get acquainted with 
Herbert than with an entire stranger, for I 
have my prepossessions about him, and do not 
find him in so many places where I expect to 
find him. He is full of criticism of the au- 
thors I admire ; he thinks stupid or improper 
the books I most read ; he is skeptical about 
the "movements" I am interested in ; he has 
formed very different opinions from mine con- 
cerning a hundred men and women of the 
present day ; we used to eat from one dish ; 
we couldn't now find anything in common in a 
dozen ; his prejudices (as we call our opinions) 
are most extraordinary, and not half so reason- 



BACK-LOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



437 



able as my prejudices ; there are a great many 
persons and things that I am accustomed to 
denounce, uncontradicted by anybody, which 
he defends ; his public opinion is not at all 
my public opinion. I am sorry for him. He 
appears to have fallen into influences and 
among a set of people foreign to me. I find 
that his church has a different steeple on it 
from my church (which, to say the tiuth, 
hasn't any). It is a pity that such a dear 
friend and a man of so much promise should 
have drifted off into such general contrariness. 
I see Herbert sitting here by the fire, with the 
old look in his face coming out more and more, 
but I do not recognize any features of his mind 
— except perhaps his contrariness ; yes, he 
was always a little contrary, I think. And 
finally he surprised me with : — 

" Well, my friend, you seem to have drifted 
away from all your old notions and opinions. 
We used to agree when we were together, but 
I sometimes wondered where you would land ; 
for, pardon me, you showed signs of looking 
at things a little contrary." 

I am silent for a good while. I am try- 
ing to think who I am. There was a person 
whom I thought I knew, very fond of Herbert, 
and agreeing with him in most things. Where 
has he gone ? and, if he is here, where is the 
Herbert that 1 knew ? 

If his intellectual and moral sympathies 
have all changed, I wonder if his physical 
tastes remain, like his appearance, the same. 
There has come over this country within the 
last generation, as everybody knows, a great 
wave of condemnation of pie. It has taken 
the character of a " movement," though we 
have had no conventions about it, nor is any 
one, of any of the several sexes among us, 
running for president against it. It is safe 
almost anywhere to denounce pie, yet nearly 
everybody eats it on occasion. A great many 
people think it savors of a life abroad to speak 
with horror of pie, although they were very 
likely the foremost of the Americans in Paris 
who used to speak with more enthusiasm of the 
American pie at Madame Busque's than of 
the Venus of Milo. To talk against pie and 
still eat it is snobbish, of course ; but snob- 
bery, being an aspiring failing, is sometimes 
the prophecy of better things. To affect dis- 
like of pie is something. We have no statis- 
tics on the subject, and cannot tell whether 
it is gaining or losing in the country at large. 
Its disappearance in select circles is no test. 
The amount of writing against it is no more 
test of its desuetude, than the number of re- 
ligious tracts distributed in a given district is 
a criterion of its piety. We are apt to as- 



sume that certain regions are substantially 
free of it. Herbert and I, traveling north one 
summer, fancied that we could draw in New 
England a sort of diet line, like the sweeping 
curves on the isothermal charts, which should 
show at least the leading pie sections. Jour- 
neying toward the White Mountains, we con- 
cluded that a line passing through Bellows 
Falls, and bending a little south on either side, 
would mark northward the region of perpet- 
ual pie. In this region pie is to be found at 
all hours and seasons, and at every meal. I 
am not sure, however, that pie is not a matter 
of altitude rather than latitude, as I find that 
all the hill and country towns of New England 
are full of those excellent women, the very 
salt of the house-keeping earth, who would 
feel ready to sink in mortification through 
their scoured kitchen floors if visitors should 
catch them without a pie in the house. The 
absence of pie would be more noticed than 
a scarcity of Bible even. Without it the 
housekeepers are as distracted as the board- 
ing-house keeper, who declared that if it 
were not for canned tomato she should have 
nothing to fly to. Well, in all this great agi- 
tation I find Herbert unmoved, a conserva- 
tive, even to the under-crust. I dare not ask 
him if he eats pie at breakfast. There are 
some tests that the dearest friendship may not 
apply. 

" Will you smoke ? " I ask. 

" No, I have reformed." 

" Yes, of course." 

" The fact is, that when we consider the 
correlation of forces, the apparent sympathy 
of spirit manifestations with electric conditions, 
the almost revealed mysteries of what may be 
called the odic force, and the relation of all 
these phenomena to the nervous system in 
man, it is not safe to do anything to the ner- 
vous system that will " 

" Hang the nervous system ! Herbert, we 
can agree in one thing : old memories, reve- 
ries, friendships, center about that : — isn't an 
open wood-fire good ? " 

"Yes," says Herbert, combatively, "if you 
don't sit before it too long." 

in. 

The best talk is that which escapes up the 
open chimney and cannot be repeated. The 
finest woods make the best fire and pass away 
with the least residuum. 1 hope the next 
generation will not accept the reports of " in- 
terviews " as specimens of the conversations 
of these years of grace. 

But do we talk as well as our fathers and 
mothers did ? We hear wonderful stories of 



438 



BA CK-L O G STUDIES—RENE WED. 



the bright generation that sat about the wide 
fire-places of New England. Good talk has 
so much short-hand that it cannot be reported 
— the inflection, the change of voice, the 
shrug cannot be caught on paper. The best 
of it is when the subject unexpectedly goes 
cross-lots, by a flash of short-cut, to a conclu- 
sion so suddenly revealed that it has the effect 
of wit. It needs the highest culture and the 
finest breeding to prevent the conversation 
from running into mere persiflage on the one 
hand — its common fate — or monologue on 
the other. Our conversation is largely chaff. 
I am not sure but the former generation 
preached a good deal, but it had great prac- 
tice in fire-side talk, and must have talked 
well. There were narrators in those days 
who could charm a circle all the evening long 
with stories. When each day brought com- 
paratively little new to read, there was leisure 
for talk, and the rare book and the infrequent 
magazine were thoroughly discussed. Fami- 
lies now are swamped by the printed matter 
that comes daily upon the center-table. There 
must be a division of labor, one reading this, 
and another that, to make any impression on 
it. The telegraph brings the only common 
food, and works this daily miracle, that every 
mind in Christendom is excited by one topic 
simultaneously with every other mind ; it en- 
ables a concurrent mental action, a burst of 
sympathy or a universal prayer to be made, 
which must be, if we have any faith in the im- 
material left, one of the chief forces in mod- 
ern life. It is fit that an agent so subtle as 
electricity should be the minister of it. 

When there is so much to read, there is lit- 
tle time for conversation ; nor is there leisure 
for another pastime of the ancient firesides, 
called reading aloud. The listeners, who 
heard while they looked into the wide chim- 
ney-place, saw there pass in stately procession 
the events and the grand persons of history, 
were kindled with the delights of travel, 
touched by the romance of true love, or made 
restless by tales of adventure ; — the hearth be- 
came a sort of magic stone that could trans- 
port those who sat by it to the most distant 
places and times as soon as the book was 
opened and the reader began, of a winter's 
night. Perhaps the Puritan reader read 
through his nose, and all the little Puritans 
made the most dreadful nasal inquiries as the 
entertainment went on. The prominent nose 
of the intellectual New Englander is evidence 
of the constant linguistic exercise of the organ 
for generations. It grew by talking through. 
But I have no doubt that practice made good 
readers in those days. Good reading aloud 



is almost a lost accomplishment now. It is 
little thought of in the schools. It is disused 
at home. It is rare to find any one who can 
read, even from the newspaper, well. Read- 
ing is so universal, even with the uncultivated, 
that it is common to hear people mispro- 
nounce words that you did not suppose they had 
ever seen. In reading to themselves they glide 
over these words, in reading aloud they stum- 
ble over them. Besides, our every-day books 
and newspapers are so larded with French that 
the ordinary reader is obliged marcher a pas 
de loup — for instance. 

The newspaper is probably responsible for 
making current many words with which the 
general reader is familiar, but which he rises 
to in the flow of conversation and strikes at 
with a splash and an unsuccessful attempt at 
appropriation ; the word, which he perfectly 
knows, hooks him in the gills and he cannot 
master it. The newspaper is thus widening 
the language in use and vastly increasing the 
number of words which enter into common 
talk. The Americans of the lowest intellec- 
tual class probably use more words to express 
their ideas than the similar class of any other 
people ; but this prodigality is partially bal- 
anced* by the parsimony of words in some 
higher regions, in which a few phrases of cur- 
rent slang are made to do the whole duty of 
exchange of ideas ; if that can be called ex- 
change of ideas when one intellect flashes 
forth to another the remark, concerning some 
report, that " you know how it is yourself," 
and is met by the response of "that's what's 
the matter," and rejoins with the perfectly 
conclusive " that's so." It requires a high 
degree of culture to use slang with elegance 
and effect ; and we are yet very far from the 
Greek attainment. 

IV. 

The fire-place wants to be all aglow, the 
wind rising, the night heavy and black above, 
but light with sifting snow on the earth, — a 
background of inclemency for the illumined 
room with its pictured walls, tables heaped 
with books, capacious easy-chairs and their 
occupants, — it needs, I say, to glow and throw 
its rays far through the crystal of the broad 
windows, in order that we may rightly appre- 
ciate the relation of the wide-jammed chim- 
ney to domestic architecture in our climate. 
We fell to talking about it ; and, as is usual 
when the conversation is professedly on one 
subject, we wandered all around it. The 
young lady staying with us was roasting chest- 
nuts in the ashes, and the frequent explosions 
required considerable attention. The mis 



BACK-LOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



439 



tress, too, sat somewhat alert, ready to rise at 
any instant and minister to the fancied want 
of this or that guest, forgetting the reposeful 
truth that people about a lireside will not have 
any wants if they are not suggested. The 
worst of them, if they desire anything, only 
want something hot, and that later in the 
evening. And it is an open question whether 
you ought to associate with people who want 
that 

I was saying that nothing had been so slow 
in its progress in the world as domestic archi- 
tecture. Temples, palaces, bridges, acme- 
ducts, cathedrals, towers of marvelous deli- 
cacy and strength, grew to perfection while 
the common people lived in hovels, and the 
richest lodged in the most gloomy and con- 
tracted quarters. The dwelling-house is a 
modern institution. It is a curious fact that 
it has only improved with the social elevation 
of women. Men were never more brilliant 
in arms and letters than in the age of Eliza- 
beth, and yet they had no homes. They 
made themselves thick-walled castles, with slits 
in the masonry for windows, for defense, and 
magnificent banquet-halls for pleasure ; the 
stone rooms into which they crawled for the 
night were often little better than dog-kennels. 
The Pompeians had no comfortable night- 
quarters. The most singular thing to me, 
however, is that, especially interested as wo- 
man is in the house, she has never done any- 
thing for architecture. And yet woman is 
reputed to be an ingenious creature. 

Herbert. I doubt if woman has real in- 
genuity; she has great adaptability. I don't 
say that she will do the same thing twice 
alike, like a Chinaman, but she is most cun- 
ning in suiting herself to circumstances. 

The Fire Tender. Oh, if you mean con- 
structive, creative ingenuity, perhaps not ; but 
in the higher ranges of achievement, that of 
accomplishing any purpose dear to her heart, 
for instance, her ingenuity is simply incom- 
prehensible to me. 

Herbert. Yes, if you mean doing things 
by indirection. 

The Mistress. When you men assume all 
the direction, what else is left to us ? 

The Fire Tender. Did you ever see a 
woman refurnish a house ? 

The Young Lady staying with us. I 
never saw a man do it, unless he was burned 
out of his rookery. 

Herbert. There is no comfort in new 
things. 

The Fire Tender (not noticing the inter- 
ruption). Having set her mind on a total revo- 
lution of the house, she buys one new thing, 



not too obtrusive, nor much out of harmony 
with the old. The husband scarcely notices it, 
least of all does he suspect the revolution, 
which she already has accomplished. Next, 
some article that does look a little shabby be- 
side the new piece of furniture is sent to the 
garret, and its place is supplied by something 
that will mateh in color and effect. Even 
the man can see that it ought to match, and 
so the process goes on, it may be for years, 
it may be forever, until nothing of the old is 
left, and the house is transformed as it was 
predetermined in the woman's mind. I doubt 
if the man ever understands how or when it 
was done ; his wife certainly never says any- 
thing about the refurnishing, but quietly goes 
on to new conquests. 

The Mistress. And isn't it better to buy 
little by little, enjoying every new object as 
you get it, and assimilating each article to 
your household life, and making the home a 
harmonious expression of your own taste, 
rather than to order things in sets, and turn 
your house, for the time being, into a furniture 
wareroom ? 

The Fire Tender. Oh, I only spoke of 
the ingenuity of it. 

The Young Lady. For my part, I never 
can get acquainted with more than one piece 
of furniture at a time. 

Herbert. I suppose women are our su- 
periors in artistic taste, and I fancy that I can 
tell whether a house is furnished by a woman 
or a man ; of course I mean the few houses 
that appear to be the result of individual taste 
and refinement — most of them look as if they 
had been furnished on contract by the uphol- 
sterer. 

The Mistress. Woman's province in this 
world is putting things to rights. 

Herbert. With a vengeance, sometimes. 
In the study, for example. My chief objec- 
tion to woman is that she has no respect for 
the newspaper, or the printed page, as such. 
She is Siva, the destroyer. 1 have noticed 
that a great part of a married man's time at 
home is spent in trying to find the things he 
has put on his study table. 

The Young Lady. Herbert speaks with the 
bitterness of a bachelor shut out of paradise. 
It is my experience that if women did not 
destroy the rubbish that men bring into the 
house it would become uninhabitable, and 
need to be burned down every five years. 

The Fire Tender. I confess women do a 
great deal for the appearance of things. When 
the mistress is absent, this room, although every- 
thing is here as it was before, does not look at 
all like the same place ; it is stiff, and seems 



44° 



BACK- LOG STUDIES— RENEWED. 



to lack a soul. When she returns, I can see 
that her eye, even while greeting me, takes in 
the situation at a glance. While she is talk- 
ing of the journey, and before she has re- 
moved her traveling hat, she turns this chair 
and moves that, sets one piece of furniture at 
a different angle, rapidly, and apparently un- 
consciously, shifts a dozen little knick-knacks 
and bits of color, and the room is transformed. 
I couldn't do it in a week. 

The Mistress. That is the first time I 
eve: knew a man admit he couldn't do any- 
thing if he had time. 

Herbert. Yet with all her peculiar instinct 
for making a home, women make themselves 
very little felt in our domestic architecture. 

The Mistress. Men build most of the 
houses in what might be called the ready- 
made-clothing style, and we have to do the 
best we can with them ; and hard enough it 
is to make cheerful homes in most of them. 
You will see something different when the 
woman is constantly consulted in the plan of 
the house. 

Herbert. We might see more difference 
if women would give any attention to archi- 
tecture. Why are there no women architects ? 

The Fire Tender. Want of the ballot, 
doubtless. It seems to me that here is a splen- 
did opportunity for woman to come to the 
front. 

The Young Lady. They have no desire 
to come to the front ; they would rather man- 
age things where they arc. 

The Fire Tender. If they would master 
the noble art, and put their brooding taste 
upon it, we might very likely compass some- 
thing in our domestic architecture that we have 
not yet attained. The outside of our houses 
needs attention as well as the inside. Most 
of them are as ugly as money can build. 

The Young Lady. What vexes me most 
is, that women, married women, have so 
easily consented to give up open fires in their 
houses. 



Herbert. They dislike the dust and the 
bother. I think that women rather like the 
confined furnace heat. 

The Fire Tender. Nonsense ; it is their 
angelic virtue of submission. We wouldn't be 
hired to stay all day in the houses we build. 

The Young Lady. That has a very chival- 
rous sound, but I know there will be no ref- 
ormation until women rebel and demand 
everywhere the open fire. 

Herbert. They are just now rebelling 
about something else ; it seems to me yours 
is a sort of counter-movement, a fire in the 
rear. 

The Mistress. I'll join that movement. 
The time has come when woman must strike 
for her altars and her fires. 

Herbert. Hear, hear ! 

The Mistress. Thank you, Herbert. I 
applauded you once, when you declaimed 
that, years ago in the old Academy. I re- 
member how eloquently you did it. 

Herbert. Yes, I was once a spouting 
idiot. 

Just then the door-bell rang, and company 
came in. And the company brought in a 
new atmosphere, as company always does — 
something of the disturbance of out doors, 
and a good deal of its healthy cheer. The 
direct news that the thermometer was ap- 
proaching zero, with a hopeful prospect of go- 
ing below it, increased to liveliness our satis- 
faction in the fire. When the cider was heated 
in the brown stone pitcher, there was differ- 
ence of opinion whether there should be toast 
in it ; some were for toast, because that was 
the old-fashioned way, and others were against 
it, because it does not taste good in cider. 
Herbert said there was very little respect left 
for our forefathers. 

More wood was put on, and the flame 
danced in a hundred fantastic shapes. The 
snow had ceased to fall, and the moonh'ght 
lay in silvery patches among the trees in the 
ravine. The conversation became worldly. 



AT HIS GATES. 



441 



AT HIS GATES. 

By MRS. OLIPHANT. 




CHAPTER IV. 

T is needless 
to say that 
Helen's su- 
perstition 
about the fall 
of the picture 
and the sigh- 
ing of the 
wind vanished 
with the night, 
and that in the 
morning her 
nervousness 
was gone, and 
her mind had 
returned to its 
previous train 
of thought. 
Her passing 
weakness, 
however, had 
left one trace behind. While he was sooth- 
ing her fanciful terrors, Robert had said, in a 
burst of candour and magnanimity, "I will 
tell you what I will do, Helen. I will not 
act on my own judgment. I'll ask Haldane 
and Maurice for their advice." " But I do 
not care for their advice," she had said, with 
a certain pathos. " Yes, to be sure," Robert 
had answered ; for, good as he was, he liked 
his own way, and sometimes was perverse. 
" They are my oldest friends ; they are the 
most sensible fellows I know. I will tell 
them all the circumstances, and they will give 
me their advice." 

This was a result which probably would 
have come wh ether Helen had been nervous 
or not ; for Haldane and Maurice were the 
two authorities whom the painter held highest 
after his wife. But Helen had never been 
able to receive them with her husband's 
faith, or to agree to them as sharers of her 
influence over him. It said much for her 
that she had so tolerated them and schooled 
herself in their presence that poor Drummond 
had no idea of the rebellion which existed 
against them in her heart. But both of them 
were instinctively aware of it, and felt that they 
were not loved by their friend's wife. He 
made the same announcement to her next 
morning with cheerful confidence, and a sense 
that he deserved nothing but applause for his 
prudence. " I am going to keep my pro- 



mise," he said. " You must not think I say 
anything to please you which I don't mean 
to carry out. I am going to speak to 
Haldane and Maurice. Maurice is very 
knowing about business, and as for Stephen, 
his father was in an office all his life." 

" But, Robert, I don't want you to ask 
their advice. I have no faith in them. I 
would rather a hundred times you judged for 
yourself." 

" Yes, my darling," said Robert ; " they 
are the greatest helps to a man in making 
such a decision. I know my own opinion, 
and I know yours ; and our two good 
friends, who have no bias, will put every- 
thing right." 

And he went out with his hat brushed and 
a new pair of gloves, cheerful and respectable 
as if he were already a bank director, cleansed 
of the velvet coats and brigand hats and all 
the weaknesses of his youth. And his wife sat 
down with an impatient sigh to hear Norah 
play her scales, which was not exhilarating, 
for Norah's notions of time and harmony 
were as yet but weakly developed. While 
the child made direful havoc among the 
black notes, Helen was sounding a great 
many notes quite as black in her inmost 
mind. What could they know about it? 
What were they to him in comparison with 
herself? Why should he so wear his heart 
upon his sleeve ? It raised a kind of silent 
exasperation within her, so good as he was, 
so kind, and tender, and loving ; and yet 
this was a matter in which she had nothing 
to do but submit. 

These two cherished friends of Robert's 
were not men after Helen's heart. The first, 
Stephen Haldane, was a Dissenting minister, 
a member of a class which all her prejudices 
were in arms against. It was not that she 
cared for his religious opinions or views, 
which differed from her own. She was not 
theological nor ecclesiastical in her turn of 
mind, and, to tell the truth, was not given to 
judging her acquaintances by an intellectual 
standard, much less a doctrinal one. But 
she shrank from his intimacy because he was 
a Dissenter — a man belonging to a class not 
acknowledged in society, and of whom she 
understood vaguely that they were very care- 
less about their h's, and were not gentle- 
men. The fact that Stephen Haldane was a 
gentleman as much as good manners, and 
good looks, and a tolerable education could 



442 



AT HIS GATES. 



make him, did not change her sentiments. 
She was too much of an idealist (without 
knowing it) to let proof invalidate theory. 
Accordingly, she doubted his good manners, 
mistrusted his opinions, and behaved towards 
him with studied civility, and a protest, care- 
fully veiled but never forgotten, against his 
admission to her society. He had no right 
to be there ; he was an intruder, an inferior. 
Such was her conclusion in a social point of 
view ; and her husband's inclination to con- 
sult him on most important matters in their 
history was very galling to her. The two 
had come to know each other in their youth, 
when Haldane was going through the curious 
incoherent education which often leads a 
young man temporarily to the position of 
dissenting minister. He had started in life 
as a Bluecoat boy, and had shown what 
people call " great talent," but not in the 
academical way. As a young man he had 
loved modern literature better than ancient. 
Had he been born to an estate of ten thou- 
sand a year, or had he been born in a rank 
which would have secured him diplomatic or 
official work, he would have had a high cha- 
racter for accomplishments and ability ; but 
he was born only of a poor dissenting family, 
without a sixpence, and when his school 
career was over he did not know what to 
do with himself. He took to writing, as 
such men do, by nature, and worked his 
way into the newspapers. Thus he began 
to earn a little money, while vaguely play- 
ing with a variety of careers. Once he 
thought he would be a doctor, and it was 
while in attendance at an anatomical class 
that he met Drummond. But Haldane was 
soon sick of doctoring. Then he became a 
lecturer, getting engagements from mechanics' 
institutions and literary societies, chiefly in 
the country. It was at one of these lectures 
that he fell under the notice of a certain Mr. 
Baldwin, a kind of lay bishop in a great 
dissenting community. Mr. Baldwin was 
much " struck " by the young lecturer. He 
agreed with his views, and applauded his 
eloquence ; and when the lecture was over 
had himself introduced to the speaker. This 
good man had a great many peculiarities, and 
was rich enough to be permitted to indulge 
them. One of these peculiarities was an 
inclination to find out and encourage "rising 
talent." And he told everybody he had 
seldom been so much impressed as by the 
talents of this young man, who was living 
(innocently) by his wits, and did not know 
what to do with himself. It is not necessary 
to describe the steps by which young Haldane 



ripened from a lecturer upon miscellaneous 
subjects, literary and philosophical, into a 
most esteemed preacher. He pursued his 
studies for a year or two at Mr. Baldwin's 
cost, and at the end of that time was pro- 
moted, not of course nominally, but very 
really, by Mr. Baldwin's influence, to the 
pulpit of the nourishing and wealthy congre- 
gation of which that potentate was the head. 
This was Stephen Haldane's history ; but he 
was not the sort of man to be produced 
naturally by such a training. He was full of 
natural refinement, strangely blended with a 
contented adherence to all the homely habits 
of his early life. He had not attempted, had 
not even thought of, " bettering" himself. 
Pie lived with his mother and sister, two 
homely dissenting women, narrow as the 
little house they lived in, who kept him, 
his table, and surroundings, on exactly the 
same model as his fathers house had been 
kept. All the luxuries }f the wealthy chapel 
folks never tempted him to imitation. He 
did not even claim to himself the luxury of a 
private study in which to write his sermons, 
but had his writing-table in the common 
sitting-room, in order that his womankind 
might preserve the cold fiction of a " best 
room " in which to receive visitors. To be 
sure, he might have been able to afford a 
larger house; but then Mrs. Haldane and 
Miss Jane would have been out of place 
in a larger house. They lived in Victoria 
Villas, one of those smaller streets which 
copy and vulgarize the better ones in all 
London suburbs. It was close to St. Mary's 
Road, in which Drummond's house was 
situated, and the one set of houses was a 
copy of the other in little. The arrange- 
ment of the rooms, the shape of the garden, 
the outside aspect was the same, only so 
many degrees smaller. And this, it must be 
allowed, was one of the reasons why the 
Haldanes were unpalatable neighbours to 
Mrs. Drummond. For, as a general rule, 
the people who lived in St. Mary's Road 
did not know the inferior persons who in- 
habited Victoria Villas. The smaller copied 
the greater, and were despised by them in 
consequence. It was " a different class," 
everybody said. And it may be supposed 
that it was very hard upon poor Helen to 
have it known that her husband's closest 
friend, the man whose opinion he asked 
about most things, and whom he believed 
in entirely, was one who combined in him- 
self almost all the objectionable qualities 
possible. He was a Dissenter — a dissenting 
minister — sprung of a poor family, and ad- 



AT HIS GATES. 



443 



hering to all their shabby habits — and lived 
in Victoria Villas. The very address of 
itself was enough to condemn a man ; no 
one who had any respect for his friends 
would have retained it for an hour. Yet 
it was this man whom Robert had gone 
to consult at the greatest crisis of his life. 

The other friend upon whom poor Drum- 
mond relied was less objectionable in a social 
point of view. He was a physician, and not 
in very great practice, being a crotchety man 
given to inventions and investigations, but 
emphatically " a gentleman " according to 
Helen's own sense of the word. This was so 
far satisfactory ; but if he was less objection- 
able, he was also much less interesting than 
Stephen Haldane. He was a shy man, know- 
ing little about women and caring less. He 
lived all by himself in a great house in one of 
the streets near Berkeley Square, a house 
twice as big as the Drummonds', which he 
inhabited in solitary state, in what seemed to 
Helen the coldest, dreariest loneliness. She 
was half sorry for, half contemptuous of 
him in his big, solemn, doubly-respectable 
hermitage. He was rich, and had nothing j 
to do with his money. He had few friends 
and no relations. He was as unlike the 
painter as could be conceived ; and yet in 
him too Robert believed. Their acquaintance 
dated back to the same anatomical lectures 
which had brought Haldane and Drummond 
together, but Dr. Maurice was a lover of art, 
and had bought Robert's first picture, and thus 
occupied a different ground with him. Perhaps 
the irritating influence he had upon Helen 
was greater than that exercised by Haldane, 
because it was an irritation produced by his 
character, not by his circumstances. Hal- 
dane paid her a certain shy homage, feeling 
her to be different from all the women that 
surrounded himself; but Maurice treated her 
with formal civility and that kind of conven- 
tional deference which old-fashioned people 
show to the wishes and tastes of an inferior, 
that he may be set at his ease among them. 
There were times when she all but hated the 
doctor, with his courtesy and his silent air of 
criticism, but the minister she could not hate. 

At the same time it must be allowed that 
to see her husband set out with his new gloves 
to ask the opinion of these two men, after all 
the profound thought she had herself given to 
the subject, and the passionate feeling it had 
roused within her, was hard upon Helen. 
To them it would be nothing more than a 
wise or unwise investment of money, but to 
her it was a measure affecting life and hon- 
our. Perhaps she exaggeiated, she was will- 



ing to allow — but they would not fail to under- 
rate its importance ; they could not — Heaven 
forbid they ever should ! — feel as she did, that 
Robert, though an R.A., had failed in his 
profession. They would advise him to hold 
fast by that profession and leave business 
alone, which was as much as condemning 
him to a constant repetition of the despairs 
and discontents of the past ; or they would 
advise him to accept the one opening held out 
to him and sever himself from Art, which would 
be as good as a confession of failure. Thus it 
is evident, whatever his friends might happen 
to advise, Helen was prepared to resent. 

At this moment Mrs. Drummond's charac- 
ter was the strangest mixture of two kinds of 
being. She was, though a mature woman, 
like a flower bursting out of a rough husk. 
The old conventional nature, the habits and 
prejudices of the rich bourgeois existence to 
which she had been born, had survived all 
that had as yet happened to her in life. The 
want of a dining-room, which has been 
already noted, had been not a trivial acci- 
dent but a real humiliation to her. She sighed 
when she thought of the great dinner-parties 
with mountains of silver on table and sideboard, 
and many men in black or more gorgeous 
beings in livery to w r ait, which she had been 
accustomed to in her youth ; and when she 
was obliged to furnish a supper for a group 
of painters who had been smoking half the 
night in the studio, and who were not in 
evening dress, she felt almost disgraced. 
Robert enjoyed that impromptu festivity more 
than all the dinner-parties; but Helen felt 
that if any of her old friends or even the 
higher class of her present acquaintances were 
to look in and see her, seated at the head of 
the table, where half a dozen bearded men 
in morning coats Avere devouring cold beef 
and salad, she must have sunk through the 
floor in shame and dismay. Robert was 
strangely, sadly without feeling in such mat- 
ters. It never occurred to him that they 
could be a criterion of what his wife called 
" position;" and he would only laugh in the 
most hearty way when Helen insisted upon the 
habits proper to " people of our class.'' But 
her pride, such as it was, was terribly wounded 
by all such irregular proceedings. The middle- 
class custom of dining early and making a 
meal of " tea," a custom in full and undis- 
turbed operation round the corner in Victoria 
Villas, affected her with a certain horror as if 
it had been a crime. Had she yielded to it 
she would have felt that she had " given in," 
and voluntarily descended in the social scale. : 
"Late dinners" were to her as a bulwark 



444 



AT HIS GATES. 



against that social downfall which in her 
early married life had seemed always immi- 
nent. This curious raising up of details into 
the place of principles had given Helen many 
an unnecessary prick. It had made her put 
up with much really inferior society m the 
shape of people of gentility whose minds were 
all absorbed in the hard struggle to keep up 
appearances, and live as people lived with 
ten times their income, while it cut her off 
from a great many to whom appearances were 
less important, and who lived as happened 
to be most convenient to them, without ask- 
ing at what hour dukes dined or millionaires. 
The dukes probably would have been as in- 
different, but not the millionaires, and it was 
from the latter class that Helen came. But 
in the midst of all these all-important details 
and the trouble they caused her, had risen up, 
she knew not how, a passionate, obstinately 
ideal soul. Perhaps at first her thirst for 
fame had been but another word for social 
advancement and distinction in the world, 
but that feeling had changed by means of the 
silent anguish which had crept on her as bit 
by bit she understood her husband's real 
weakness. Love in her opened, it did not 
blind, her eyes. Her heart cried out for 
excellence, for power, for genius in the man 
she loved ; and with this longing there came 
a hundred subtle sentiments which she did 
not understand, and which worked and fer- 
mented in her without any will of hers. 
Along with the sense that he was no genius, 
there rose an unspeakable remorse and hatred 
of herself who had found it out ; and along with 
her discontent came a sense of her own weak- 
ness — a growing humility which was a pain to 
her, and against which her pride fought stoutly, 
keeping, up to this time, the upper hand — 
and a regretful, self-reproachful, half-adora- 
tion of her husband and his goodness, pro- 
duced by the very consciousness that he was 
not so strong nor so great as she had hoped. 
These mingled elements of the old and the 
new in Helen's mind made it hard to under- 
stand her, hard to realise and follow her 
motives; yet they explained the irritability 
which possessed her, her impatience of any 
suggestion from outside, along with her 
longing for something new, some change 
which might bring a new tide into the life 
which had fallen into such dreary, stagnant, 
unreal ways. 

While she waited at home with all these 
thoughts whirling about her, Robert went on 
cheerfully seeking advice. He did it in the 
spirit which is habitual to men who consult 
their friends on any important matter. He 



made up his mind first. As he turned lightly 
round the corner, swinging his cane, instead 
of wondering what his friend would say to 
him, he was making up his mind what he him- 
self would do with all the unusual power and 
wealth which would come to him through 
the bank. For instance, at once there was 
poor Chance, the sculptpr, whose son he 
would find a place fu* without more ado. 
Poor Chance had ten children, and was no 
genius, but an honest, good fellow, who 
would have made quite a superior stone- 
mason had he understood his own gifts. 
Here was one immediate advantage of that 
bank-directorship. He went in cheerful and 
confident in this thought to the little house 
in Victoria Villas. Haldane had been ill ; 
he had spent the previous winter in Italy, 
and his friends had been in some anxiety 
about his health ; but he had improved 
again, and Robert went in without any ap- 
prehensions into the sitting-room at the back, 
which looked into the little garden. He 
had scarcely opened the door before he saw 
that something had happened. The writing- 
table was deserted, and a large sofa drawn 
near the window had become, it was easy to 
perceive, the centre of the room and of all 
the interests of its inhabitants. Mrs. Hal; 
dane, a homely old woman in a black dress 
and a widow's cap, rose hastily as he came 
in, with her hand extended, as if to forbid his 
approach. She was very pale and tremulous ; 
the arm which she raised shook as she held 
it out, and fell down feebly by her side when 
she saw who it was. " Oh, come in, Mr. 
Drummond, he will like to see you," she said 
in a whisper. Robert went forward with a 
pang of alarm. His friend was lying on the 
sofa with his eyes closed, with an ashy pale- 
ness on his face, and the features slightly, 
very slightly distorted. He was not moved 
by the sound of Robert's welcome nor by 
his mother's movements. His eyes were 
closed, and yet he did not seem to be asleep. 
His chest heaved regularly and faintly, or the 
terrified bystander would have thought he 
was dead. 

Robert clutched at the hand which the old 
lady stretched out to him again. " Has he 
fainted?" he cried in a whisper. " Have you 
had the doctor? Let me go for the doctor. 
Do you know what it is ? " 

Poor Mrs. Haldane looked down silently 
and cried. Two tears fell out of her old 
eyes as if they were full and had overflowed. 
" I thought he would notice you," she said. 
" He always was so fond of } ou. Oh, Mr. 
Drummond, my boy's had a shock." 



AT HIS GATES. 



445 



"A shock!" said Drummond, under his 
breath. All his own visions flitted out of his 
mind like a shadow. His friend lay before 
him like a fallen tower, motionless, speech- 
less. " Good God!" he said, as men do 
unawares, with involuntary appeal to Him 
who (surely) has to do with those wild con- 
tradictions of nature. " When did it happen ? 
Who has seen him?" he asked, growing 
almost as pale as was the sufferer, and feeling 
faint and ill in the sense of his own power- 
lessness to help. 

" It was last night, late," said the mother. 
" Oh, Mr. Drummond, this has been what 
was working on him. I knew it was never 
the lungs. Not one of us, either his father's 
family or mine, was ever touched in the 
lungs. Dr. Mix well saw him directly. He 
said not to disturb him, or I would have had 
him in bed. I know he ought to be in bed." 

" I'll go and fetch Maurice," cried Robert. 
" I shall be back directly," and he rushed out 
of the room which he had entered so jauntily. 
As he flew along the street, and jumped into 
the first cab he could find, the bank and his 
directorship went as completely out of his 
mind as if they had been a hundred years 
off. He dashed at the great solemn door of 
Dr. Maurice's house when he reached it and 
rushed in, upsetting the decorous servant. 
He seized the doctor by the shoulder, who 
was seated calmly at breakfast. " Come 
along with me directly," he said. " I have a 
cab at the door." 

"What is the matter?" said Dr. Maurice. 
He had no idea of being disturbed so un- 
ceremoniously. " Is Mrs. Drummond ill ? 
Sit down and tell me what is wrong." 

" I can't sit down. 1 want you to come 
with me. There is a cab at the door," said 
Robert panting. " It is poor Haldane. He 
has had a fit — come at once." 

" A fit ! I knew that was what it was," 
said Dr. Maurice calmly. He waved his 
hand ,to the importunate petitioner, and 
swallowed the rest of his breakfast in great 
mouthfuls. "I'm coming; hold your tongue, 
Drummond. I knew- the lungs was all 
nonsense — of course that is what it was." 

" Come then," cried Robert. " Good 
heavens, come ! don't let him lie there and 
die." 

" He will not die. More's the pity, poor 
fellow!" said the doctor. "I said so from 
the beginning. John, my hat. Lungs, non- 
sense ! He was as sound in the lungs as 
either you or I." 

" For God's sake, come then," said the 
impatient painter, and he rushed to the door 



and pushed the calm physician into his cab. 
He had come to consult him about some- 
thing — Yes, to be sure, about poor Haldane. 
Not to consult him — to carry him off, to 
compel, to drag that other back from the 
verge of the grave. If there was anything 
more in his mind when he started Drummond 
had clean forgotten it. He did not remem- 
ber it again till two hours later when, having 
helped to carry poor Haldane up-stairs, and 
rushed here and there for medicines and con- 
veniences, he at last went home, weary with 
excitement and sympathetic pain. " I have 
surely forgotten something," he said, when 
he had given an account of all his doings 
to his wife. " Good heavens ! I forgot 
altogether that I went to ask somebody's 
advice." 

chapter v. 

Mr. Burton called next morning to ascer- 
tain Drummond's decision, and found that 
he had been sitting up half the night with 
Stephen Haldane, and was wholly occupied 
by his friend's illness. The merchant suffered 
a little vexation to be visible in his smooth and 
genial aspect. He was a middle-aged man, 
with a bland aspect and full development, 
not fat but ample. He wore his whiskers 
long, and had an air that was always jovial 
and comfortable. The cleanness of the man 
was almost aggressive. He enjoined upon 
you the fact that he not only had his bath 
every morning, but that his bath was con- 
structed on the newest principles, with water- 
pipes which wandered through all the house. 
He wore buff waistcoats and light trousers, 
and the easiest of overcoats. His watch- 
chain was worthy of him, and so were the 
heavy gold buttons at his sleeves. He looked 
and moved and spoke like wealth, with a roll 
in his voice, which is only attainable in 
business, and when business goes very well 
with you. Consequently the shade of vexa- 
tion which came over him was very per- 
ceptible. He found the Drummonds only 
at breakfast, though he had breakfasted two 
hours before, and this mingled in his serious- 
ness a certain tone of virtuous reproof. 

" My dear fellow, I don't want to disturb 
you," he said ; " but how you can make this 
sort of thing pay I can't tell. / breakfasted 
at eight ; but then, to be sure, I am only a 
City man, and can't expect my example to be 
much thought of at the West-end." 

" Is this the West-end ? " said Robert, 
laughing. " But if you breakfasted at eight, 
you must want something more by this time. 
Sit down and have some coffee. We are 



446 



AT HIS GATES. 



late because we have been up half the night." 
And he told his new visitor the story of poor 
Stephen and his sudden illness. Mr. Burton 
was moderately interested, for he had married 
Mr. Baldwin's only daughter, and was bound 
to take a certain interest in his father-in-law's 
protege. He heard the story to an end with 
admirable patience, and shook his head, and 
said, " Poor fellow ! I am very sorry for him," 
with due gravity. But he was soon tired of 
Stephen's story. He took out his watch, 
and consulted it seriously, muttering some- 
thing about his appointments. 

" My dear, good people," he said, "it may 
be all very well for you to spend your time 
and your emotions on your friends, but a 
man of business cannot so indulge himself. 
I thought I should have had a definite answer 
from you, Drummond, yes or no." 

" Yes," said Robert with professional calm- 
ness. " I am very sorry. So I intended 
myself; but this business about poor Haldane 
put everything else out of my head." 

"Well," said Mr. Burton, rising and walk- 
ing to the fire-place, according to British 
habit, though there was no fire, " you know 
best what you can do. I, for my part, should 
not be able to neglect my business if my 
best friend was on his death-bed. Of course 
you understand Rivers's is not likely to go 
begging for partners. Such an offer is not 
made to every one. I am certain that you 
should accept it for your own sake ; but if 
you do not think it of importance, there is 
not another word to say." 

"My dear fellow," cried Robert, "of 
course I think it of importance ; and I know 
I owe it to your consideration. Don't think 
me ungrateful, pray." 

"As for gratitude, that is neither here nor 
there," said the merchant ; " there is nothing I 
to be grateful about. But we have a meeting 
to-day to arrange the preliminaries, and pro- 
bably everything will be settled then. I 
should have liked to place your name at once 
on the list. To leave such things over, 
unless you mean simply to abandon them, is 
a great mistake." 

" I am sure I don't see any particular 
reason why we should leave it over," Robert 
said, faltering a little ; and then he looked 
at his wife. Helen's face was clouded and 
very pale. She was watching him with a 
certain furtive eagerness, but she did not meet 
his eye. There was a tremulous pause, which 
seemed like an hour to both of them, during 
the passing of which the air seemed to rattle 
and beat about Helen's ears. Her husband 
gazed at her, eagerly questioning her; but 



she could not raise her eyes — something 
prevented her, she could not tell what ; her 
eyelids seemed heavy and weighed them 
down. It was not weakness or fear or a 
desire to avoid the responsibility of imme- 
diate action, but a positive physical inability. 
He looked at her for, perhaps, a full minute 
by the clock, and then he said slowly, " I see 
no reason to delay. I think Helen and I 
are agreed. This matter put the other out 
of my head ; but it is natural you should be 
impatient. I think I will accept your kind 
offer, Burton, without any more delay." 

How easy it is to say such words ! The 
moment they were spoken, Robert felt them 
so simple, so inevitable, and knew that all 
along he had meant to say them. But still 
he was somewhat excited ; a curious feeling 
came into his mind, such as a king may feel 
when he has crossed his neighbour's frontier 
with an invading army. Half a dozen steps 
were enough to do it ; but how to get back 
again ? and what might pass before the going 
back ! The thought caught at his breath, 
and gave him a tremulous thrill through all 
his frame. 

" Very well," said Mr. Burton, withdrawing 
his hands from under his coat-tails, and 
drawing a slightly long breath, which the 
other in his excitement did not observe. 
Mr. Burton did not show any excitement, 
except that long breath, which, after all, 
might have been accidental ; no sign or in 
dication of feeling had been visible in him. 
It was a great, a very great, matter to the 
Drummonds ; but it was a small matter to 
one who had been for years a partner in 
Rivers's. "Very well. I will submit your 
name to the directors to-day. I don't think 
you need fear that the result will be doubtful. 
And I am very glad you have come to such 
a wise decision. Helen, when your husband 
is rich, as I trust he soon will be ; I hope you 
will fancy a little house at Dura, and be 
our neighbour. It would be like old times. 
I should like it more than I can say." 

" I never was fond of Dura," said Helen, 
with some abruptness. This reference to his 
greatness irritated her, as it always did; for 
whatever newcomer might take a little house 
at Dura, he was the lord of the place, supreme 
in the great house, and master of everything. 
Such an allusion always stirred up what w r as 
worst in her, and gave to her natural pride a 
certain tone of spitefulness and envy, which 
disgusted and wounded herself. But it did not 
wound her cousin, it pleased him. He laughed 
with a suppressed enjoyment and triumph. 

" Well," he said, " Dura is my home, and 



AT HIS GATES. 



447 



a very happy one, therefore, of course, I am 
fiond of it. And it has a great many associa- 
tions too, some of them, perhaps, not so 
agreeable. But it is always pleasant to feel, 
as I do, that everything that has happened to 
one has been for the best." 

" The conversation has taken a highly 
edifying tone,' ; said Robert with some sur- 
prise. He saw there was more meant 
than met the eye, but he did not know 
what it was. " We shall all be thanking 
Providence next, as people do chiefly, I 
observe, in celebration of the sufferings of 
others. Well, since you think I am on the fair 
way to be rich, perhaps I had better thank 
Providence by anticipation. Must I go with 
you to-day ?" 

" Not to-day. You will have full intimation 
when your presence is wanted. You forget — 
nothing is settled yet," said Mr. Burton ; "the 
whole arrangement may come to nothing 
yet, for what I know. But I must be 
going; remember me to poor Haldane when 
he is able to receive good wishes. I hope 
he'll soon be better. Some of these days I'll 
call and see him. Good morning, Plelen. 
Good-bye, Drummond. I'm glad you've 
made up your mind. My conviction is, it 
will turn out the best day's work you ever 
did in your life." 

" Is he true, I wonder?" Helen said to her- 
self as the two men left the room, and stood 
talking intently in the hall. It was the first 
time the idea had crossed her mind, and now 
it took its origin more from the malicious 
shaft her cousin had shot at herself than from 
any indication of double-dealing she had seen 
in him. It was against all the traditions of 
the Burtons to imagine that he could be any- 
thing but true. They 1 had been business 
people as long as they had been anything, 
and commercial honour had been their god. 
It went against her to imagine that " a rela- 
tion of mine!" could be other than perfect 
in this particular; and she sighed, and dis- 
missed the idea from her mind, blaming 
herself, as she often did now, for ill-temper and 
suspiciousness. " It was mean to make that 
allusion to the past, but it is meaner of me 
to doubt him on that account," she said to 
herself, with a painful sigh. It was so hard 
in her to overcome nature, and subdue those 
rebellious feelings that rose in her unawares. 
"Why should 1 care?" she thought, "it is 
my vanity. I suppose if the man had never 
got over my rejection of him I should have 
been pleased. I should have thought better 
of him ! Such a man as that ! After all, we 
women must be fools indeed." This was the 



edifying sentiment in her mind when Robert 
came back. 

" Well, Helen, the die is cast," he said, 
half cheerfully, half sadly. " However we 
come to shore, the ship has set out. If it 
were not for poor Stephen I should make 
to-day a holiday and take you somewhere. 
This day ought to be distinguished from the 
rest." 

" I hope he is true. I wonder if he is 
true ?" Helen repeated to herself, half uncon- 
sciously, beneath her breath. 

"Whom? Your cousin!!" said Robert, 
with quite two notes of admiration in his 
tone. " Why, Helen, what a cynic you are 
growing. You will suspect me next." 

"Am I a cynic?" she said, looking up at 
him with a sudden tear in her eye. " It is 
because I am beginning to be so wretchedly 
doubtful about myself." 

This admission burst from her she could 
not tell how. She had no intention of mak- 
ing it. And she was sorry the moment the 
words were said. But as for Robert, he gazed 
at her first in consternation, then laughed, 
then took her in his kind arms with that 
vituperation of love which is mere telling than 
any eulogy. " Yes," he said, " you are a very 
suspicious character altogether, you know so 
much harm of yourself that it is evident you 
must think badly of others. What a terrible 
business for me to have such a wife !" 

Thus ended the episode in their lives which 
was to colour them to their very end, and 
decide everything else. They had been very 
solemn about it at the beginning, and had 
made up their minds to proceed very warily, 
and ask everybody's advice ; but, as so often 
happens in human affairs, the decision which 
was intended to be done so seriously had 
been accomplished in a moment, without 
consideration, almost without thought. And, 
being done, it was a weight off the minds of 
both. They had no longer this disturbing 
matter between them to be discussed and 
thought over. Robert dismissed it out of 
simple light-heartedness, and that delightful 
economy of sensation which is fortunately so 
common among the artist class : " It is 
done, and all the thinking in the world will 
not make any difference. Why should I 
bother myself about it ?" If this insouciance 
sometimes does harm, heaven knows it dees 
a great deal of good sometimes, and gives 
the artist power to work where a man who 
felt his anxieties more heavily would fail. 
Helen had not this happy temper ; but she 
was a woman more occupied with personal 
feelings than with any fact, however impor- 



448 



AT HIS GATES. 



tant. The fact was outside, and never, she 
thought, could vanquish her — her enemies 
were within. 

Time passed veiy quietly after this great 
decision. There was a lull, during which 
Stephen Haldane grew better, and Mrs. 
Drummond learned to feel a certain friendli- 
ness and sympathy for the lonely mother and 
sister, who were flattered by her inquiries 
after him. She came even to understand her 
husband's jokes about Miss Jane, the grim and 
practical person who ruled the little house in 
Victoria Villas — whom she even laughed at, 
but whom little Norah took a violent fancy 
for, which much mollified her mother. And 
then, in the matter of Rivers's bank, there 
began to rise a certain agreeable excitement 
and importance in their life. " Drummond 
among the lists of bank directors ! Drum- 
mond! What does it mean?" This question 
ran through all the studios, and came back 
in amusing colours to the two who knew all 
about it. "His wife belongs to that sort of 
people, and has hosts of business connec- 
tions," said one. " The fellow is rich," said 
another : " don't you know what a favourite 
he is with all the dealers, and has been for 
ever so long ?" " His wife has money," was 
the judgment of a third. "Take my word 
for it, that is the way to get on in this world. 
A rich wife keeps you going till you've made 
a hit — if you are ever going to make a hit — 
and helps you on." " It is all that cousin of 
hers," another would say, "that fellow Burton 
whom one meets there. He bought my last 
picture, so I have reason to know, and has a 
palace in the country, like the rest of those 
City fellows." " What luck some men have," 
sighed the oldest of all. " I am older than 
Drummond, but none of these good things 
ever came my way." And this man was a 
better painter than Drummond, and knew it, 
but somehow had never caught the tide. 
Drummond's importance rose with every new 
report. When he secured the clerkship for 
Bob Chance, Chance, the sculptor's son, he 
made one family happy, and roused a certain 
excitement in many others ; for poor artists, 
like poor clergymen and other needy persons, 
insist upon having large families. Two or 
three of the men who were Robert's contem- 
poraries, who had studied with him in the 
schools, or had guided his early labours, went 
to see him, while others wrote, describing 
promising boys who would soon be ready for 
business, and for whom they would gladly 
secure something less precarious than the 
life of art. These applications were from the 
second class of artists, the men who are 



never very successful, yet who " keep on," as 
they . themselves would say, rambling from 
exhibition to exhibition, painting as well as 
a man can be taught to paint who has no 
natural impulse, or turning out in conscientious 
marble fair limbs of nymphs that ought, as 
the only reason for their being, to have 
sprung ethereal from the stone. And these 
poor painters and sculptors were often so 
good, so kindly, and unblamable as men ; 
fond of their families, ready to do anything 
to push on the sons and daughters who 
showed " talent," or had any means offered 
of bettering themselves. How gladly Robert 
would have given away a dozen clerkships ! 
how happy it would have made him to scatter 
upon them all some share of his prosperity ! 
but he could not do this, and it was the first 
disagreeable accompaniment of his new posi- 
tion. He had other applications, however, 
of a different kind. Those in the profession 
who had some money to invest came and 
asked for his advice, feeling that they could 
have confidence in him. " Rivers's has a name 
like the Bank of England," they said ; and 
he had the privilege of some preference shares 
to allot to them. All this advanced him in 
his own opinion, in his wife's, in that of all 
the world. He was no longer a man subject 
to utter demolition at the hands of an ill- 
natured critic ; but a man endowed with large 
powers in addition to his genius, whom 
nobody could demolish or even seriously 
harm. 

Perhaps, however, the greatest height of 
Drummond's triumph was reached when, the 
year having crept round from summer to 
autumn, his friend Dr. Maurice came to call 
one evening after a visit to Haldane. It 
was that moment between the two lights 
which is dear to all busy people. The first 
fire of the year was lit in Helen's drawing- 
room, which of itself was a little family 
event. Robert had strayed in from the 
studio in his painting coat, which he con- 
cealed by sitting in the shade by the side of 
the chimney. The autumn evenings had been 
growing wistful and eerie for some time back, 
the days shortening, yet the season still too 
warm for fires — so that the warm interior, 
all lit by the kindly, fitful flame, was a novelty 
and a pleasure. The central figure in the 
picture was Norah, in a thick white pique 
frock, with her brown hair falling on her 
shoulders, reading by the firelight. The 
little white figure rose from the warm carpet 
into the warm, rosy firelight, herself less vividly 
tinted, a curious little abstract thing, the 
centre of the life around her, yet taking bo 



A T HIS GA TES. 



449 



note of it. She had shielded one of her 
cheeks with her hands, and was bending 
her brows over the open book, trying to 
shade the light which flickered and danced, 
and made the words dance too before her. 
The book was too big for her, filling her lap 
and one crimsoned arm which held its least 
heavy side. The newcomer saw nothing but 
Norah against the light as he came in. He 
stopped, in reality because he was fond of 
Norah, with a disapproving word. 

" At it again !" he said. " That child will 



ruin her eyesight and her complexion, and I 
don't know what besides/' 

" Never fear," said Drummond, with a 
laugh, out of the corner, revealing himself, 
and Helen rose from the % other side. She 
had been invisible too in a shady corner. 
A certain curious sensation came over the 
man who was older, richer, and felt himself 
wiser, than the painter. All this Drummond 
had for his share, though he had not done 
much to deserve it — whereas in the big library 
near Berkeley Square there was no fire, no 




child pushing a round shoulder out of her 
frock, and roasting her cheeks, no gracious 
woman rising softly out of the shadows. Of 
course, Dr. Maurice might have been married 
too, and had not chosen ; but nevertheless 
it was hard to keep from a momentary envy 
of the painter who could come home to enjoy 
himself between the lights, and for whom 
every night a new pose arranged itself of 
that child reading before the fire. Dr. I 
Maurice was a determined old bachelor, | 
and thought more of the child than of the 
wife. 

" Haldane is better to-day," he said, seat- 
Vol. III.— 29 



ing himself behind Norah, who looked up 
dreamily, with hungry eyes possessed by her 
tale, to greet him, at her mother's bidding. 
" Nearly as well as he will ever be. We must 
amuse him with hopes of restoration, I sup- 
pose ; but he will never budge out of that 
house as long as he lives." 

" But he will live?" said Robert. 

"Yes, if you can call it living. Fancy, 
Drummond ! a man about your own age, a 
year or two younger than I am — a man fond 
of wandering, fond of movement ; and yet 
shut up in that dreary prison — for life." 

A silence fell upon them all as he spoke. 



45° 



AT HIS GATES. 



They were too much awed to make any re- 
sponse, the solemnity being beyond words. 
Norah woke up at the pause. Their voices 
did not disturb her; but the silence did. 

"Who is to be in the dreary prison?" she 
said, looking round upon them with her big 
brown wondering eyes. 

" Hush ! Poor Mr. Haldane, dear," said 
the mother, under her breath. 

Then Norah burst into a great cry. " Oh, 
who has done it — who has done it? It 'is a 
shame — it is a sin ! He is so good !" 

" My child," said the doctor, with some- 
thing like a sob, " it is God who has done it. 
J f it had been a man, we would have throttled 
him before he touched poor Stephen. Now, 
heaven help us ! what can we do ? I sup- 
pose it is God." 

" Maurice, don't speak so before the child," 
said Robert from a corner. 

" How can I help it ? " he cried. " If it 
was a man's doing, what could we say bad 
enough ? Norah, little one, you don't know 
what I mean. Go back to your book." 

" Norah, go up-stairs and get dressed for 
dinner," said Helen. " But you cannot, you 
must not be right, doctor. Oh, say you are 
sometimes deceived ! Things happen that 
you don't reckon on. It is not for his life?" 
Dr. Maurice shook his head. He looked 
after Norah regretfully as she went out of the 
room with the big book clasped in her arms. 
"You might have let the child stay," he 
said reproachfully. " There was nothing 
that could have disturbed her in what I 
said." 

And then for a moment or two the sound 
of the fire flickering its light about, making 
sudden leaps and sudden downfalls like a 
living thing, was the only sound heard ; and 
it was in this pensive silervce, weighted and 
subdued by the neighbourhood of suffering, 
that the visitor suddenly introduced a subject 
so different. He said abruptly — 

" I have to congratulate you on becoming 
a great man, Drummond. I don't know how 
you have done it. But this bank, I suppose, 
will make your fortune. I want to venture a 
little in it on my own account." 

"You, Maurice? My dear fellow!" said 
Robert, getting up with sudden enthusiasm, 
and seizing his friend by both his hands, 
"you are going in for Rivers's ! I never was 
so glad in my life !" 

" You need not be violent," said the 
doctor. " Have I said anything very clever, 
Mrs. Drummond ? I am going in for Rivers's, 
because it seems such a capital investment. 
I can't expect, of coarse, to get put on the 



board of directors, or to sit at the receipt of 
custom, like such a great man as you are. 
Don't shake my hands off, my good fellow. 
What is there wonderful in this?" 

" Nothing wonderful," said Robert ; " but 
the best joke I ever heard in my life. Fancy, 
Helen, how I was going to him humbly, hat 
in hand, to ask his advice, thinking perhaps 
he would put his veto on it, and prevent me 
from making my fortune. And now he is a 
shareholder like the rest. You may not see 
it : but it is the best joke ! You must stay to 
dinner, old fellow, and we will talk business 
all the evening. Helen, we cannot let him 
go tonight." 

And Helen smiled too as she repeated her 
husband's invitation. Robert had been wiser 
than his friends, though he had asked no- 
body's advice but hers. It was a salve to 
her often-wounded pride. The doctor did 
not like it half so much. His friend had 
stolen a march upon him, reversed their usual 
positions, gone first, and left the other to 
follow. He stayed to dinner, however, all 
the same, and pared apples for Norah, and 
talked over Rivers's afterwards over his wine. 
But when he left the door to go home, he 
shrugged his shoulders with a half-satisfied 
prophecy. " He will never paint another 
good picture," Maurice said, with a certain 
tone of friendly vengeance. " When wealth 
comes in, good-bye to art." 

CHAPTER VI. 

It was on an October day, mellow and 
bright, when Robert Drummond, with a 
smile on his face, and a heavy heart in his 
breast, reached the house in Victoria Villas, 
to superintend poor Stephen's return to the 
sitting-room, as he had superintended his 
removal to his bed. The sitting-room was 
larger, airier, and less isolated, than the 
mournful chamber up-stairs, in which he 
had spent half the summer. It was a heart- 
rending office, and yet it was one from which 
his friend could not shrink. Before he went 
up-stairs the painter paused, and took hold 
of Miss Jane's hand, and w T epr, as people 
say, " like a child;" but a child's hot thunder- 
shower of easily-dried tears are little like 
those few heavy drops that come to the eyes 
of older people, concentrating in themselves 
so much that words could not express. Miss 
Jane, for her part, did not weep. Her gray 
countenance, which was grayer than ever, 
was for a moment convulsed, and then she 
pushed her brother's friend away. " Don't 
you see I daren't cry?" she cried, almost 
angrily, with one hard sob. Her brother 



AT HIS GATES. 



451 



Stephen was the one object of her life. All 
the romance of which she was capable, and 
a devotion deeper than that of twenty lovers, 
was in her worship of him. And this was 
what it was coming to ! She hurried into 
the room which she had been preparing 
for him, which was henceforward to be his 
dwelling day and night, and shut the door 
upon the too sympathetic face. As for 
Robert, he went into his friend's little 
chamber with cheery salutations : " Well, 
old fellow, so you are coming back to the 
world!" he said. Poor Haldane was seated 
in his dressing-gown in an easy-chair. To 
look at him, no chance spectator would have 
known that he was as incapable of moving 
out of it as if he had been bound wkh iron, 
and everybody about him had been loud in 
their congratulations on the progress he was 
making. They thought they deceived him, 
as people so often think who flatter the in- 
curable with hopes of recovery. He smiled 
as Robert spoke, and shook his head. 

" I am changing my prison," he said ; 
M nothing more. I know that as well as the 
wisest of you, Drummond. You kind, dear 
souls, do you think those cheery looks you 
have made such work to keep up, de- 
ceive me?" 

" What cheery looks ? I am as sulky as a 
bear," said Robert. "And as for your prison, 
Maurice doesn't think so. You heard what 
he said?" 

" Maurice doesn't say so," said poor Hal- 
dane. " But never mind, it can't last for 
ever ; and we need not be doleful for that." 

The painter groaned within himself as they 
moved the helpless man down-stairs. " It 
will last for ever," he thought. He was so 
full of life and consolation himself that he 
could not realise the end which his friend 
was thinking of — the " for ever" which would 
release him and every prisoner. When they 
carried the invalid into the room below he 
gave a wistful look round him. For life — 
that was what he was thinking. He looked 
at the poor walls and commonplace sur- 
roundings, and a sigh burst from his lips. 
But he said immediately, to obliterate the 
impression of the sigh, "What a cheerful 
room it is, and the sun shining ! I could not 
have had a more hopeful day for my first 
coming down stairs." 

And then they all looked at each other, 
heart-struck by what seemed to them the 
success of their deception. Old Mrs. Hal- 
dane fell into a sudden outburst of weeping : 
" Oh, my poor boy ! my poor boy !" she said j 
and again a quick convulsion passed over 



Miss Jane's face. Even Dr. Maurice, the 
arch-deceiver, felt his voice choked in his 
throat. They did not know that their patient 
was smiling at them and their transparent 
devices, in the sadness and patience of his 
heart. The room had been altered in many 
particulars for his reception, and fitted with 
contrivances, every one of which contradicted 
the promises of restoration which were held 
out to him. He had known it was so, but 
yet the sight of all the provisions made for 
his captivity gave him a new pang. He 
could have cried out, too, to earth and 
heaven. But what would have been the 
good ? At the end all must submit. 

" Now that you are comfortable, Stephen," 
said his sister, with a harsh rattle in her 
voice, which made her appear less amiable 
than ever, and in reality came out of the 
deep anguish of her heart, " there is some 
one waiting to see you. The chapel people 
have been very kind. Besides the deputa- 
tion that came with the purse for you, there 
are always private members asking how you 
are, and if they can see you, and how they 
miss you — till you are able to go back." 

" That will be never, Jane." 

" How do you know ? How can any one 
tell? It is impious to limit God's mercies," 
cried Miss Jane harshly; then, suddenly 
calming down, "It is Mr. Baldwin's son in- 
law who has called to-day. 1 hey are in the 
country, and this Mr. Burton has come to 
carry them news of you. May he come in ? " 

" That is your cousin — your director?" said 
the invalid with some eagerness. " I should 
like to see him. I want you to invest my 
money for me, Drummond. There is not 
much; but you must have it, and make some- 
thing of it in your new bank." 

Mr. Burton came in before Drummond 
could answer. He came in on tiptoe, with 
an amount of caution which exasperated all 
the bystanders who loved Stephen. He 
looked stronger, richer, more prosperous than 
ever as he sat down, sympathetically, close to 
Stephen's chair. There he sat and talked, 
as it w r ere, smoothing the sick man down. 
" We must have patience," he said sooth- 
ingly. " After such an illness it will take so 
long to get up your strength. The sea-side 
would have been the best thing, but, unfor- 
tunately, it is a little late. I am so glad to 
hear your people are showing you how much 
they prize such a man as you among them ; 
and I hope, with one thing and another — the 
pension, and so forth — you may be very com- 
fortable. I would not venture to ask such a 
question, if it were not for Mr. Baldwin. He 



45 : 



A T HIS GA TES. 



takes so much interest in all your con- 
cerns." 

" I am very glad you have spoken of it," 
said Haldane, "for I want to invest what 
little money I have in this bank I hear so 
much of — yours and Drummond's. I feel 
so much like a dying man — 

" No, no," said Mr. Burton, in a depre- 
cating tone, "nothing half so bad. Provi- 
dence, you may be sure, has something dif- 
ferent in store for you. We must not think 
of that." 

" At all events, I want to make the best of 
the money, for my mother and sister," said 
Stephen. And then he entered into business, 
telling them what he had, and how it was 
invested. His mind had been very full of 
this subject for some time past. The money 
was not much, but if he died, it would be all 
his mother and sister would have to depend 
upon, and the purse which his congregation 
had collected for him would increase his 
little, very little capital. Dr. Maurice had 
gone away, and the two women, though they 
heard everything, were withdrawn together 
into a corner. Mrs. Haldane had attempted 
several times to interrupt the conversation. 
"What do we care for money!" she had 
said, with tears in her eyes. " Let him alone, 
mother, it will make him happier," Miss Jane 
had said, in the voice that was so harsh with 
restrained emotion. And Stephen, w r ith his 
two visitors beside him, and a flush upon his 
wan face, expounded all his affairs, and put 
his fortune into their hands. " Between you, 
you will keep my poor little nest-egg warm," 
he said, smiling upon them. His illness had 
refined his face, and gave him a certain 
pathetic dignity, and there was something 
that affected both in this appeal. 

" I will sit on it myself sooner than let it 
cool," Drummond had said with a laugh, yet 
with the tears in his eyes, with an attempt to 
lighten the seriousness of the moment. " Dear 
old fellow, don't be afraid. Your sacred 
money will bring a blessing on the rest." 

" That is all very pretty and poetical," said 
Mr. Burton, with a curious shade passing 
over his face ; " but if Haldane has the 
slightest doubt on the subject, he should not 
make the venture. Of course, we are all 
prepared in the way of business to win or to 
lose. If we lose, we must bear it as well as 
we can. Of course, I think the investment 
as safe as the Bank of England — but at the 
same time, Drummond, it would be a very 
different thing to you or me from what it 
would be to him." 

" Very different," said Drummond ; but 



the mere suggestion of loss had made him 
pale. " These are uncomfortable words," he 
went on with a momentary laugh. " For my 
part, I go in to win, without allowing the 
possibility of loss. Loss ! Why I have been 
doing a great deal in ways less sure than 
Rivers's, and I have not lost a penny yet, 
thanks to you." 

" I am not infallible," said Burton. " Of 
course, in everything there is a risk. I can- 
not make myself responsible. If Haldane 
has the least doubt or hesitation " 

"If 1 had, your caution would have re- 
assured me," said the invalid. " People who 
feel their responsibility so much don't throw 
away their neighbour's money. It is all my 
mother has, and all I have. When you are 
tempted to speculate, think what a helpless 
set of people are involved — and no doubt 
there will be many more just as helpless. I 
think perhaps it w r ould exercise a good in- 
fluence on mercantile men," he added, with 
perhaps a reminiscence of his profession, " if 
they knew something personally of the people 
w r hose lives are, so to speak, in their hands." 

"Haldane," said Mr. Burton hastily, "I 
don't think we ought to take your money. It 
is too great a risk. Trade has no heart and 
no bowels. We can't work in this way, you 
know, it would paralyse any man. Money is 
money, and has to be dealt with on business 
principles. God bless me ! If I were to 
reflect about the people whose lives, &c. — I 
could never do anything ! We can't afford 
to take anything but the market into ac- 
count." 

" I don't see that," said the painter, who 
knew as much about business as Mr. Burton's 
umbrella. " I agree with Hnldane. We 
should be less ready to gamble and run 
foolish risks, if we remembered always what 
trusts we have in our hands : the honour of 
honest men, and the happiness of families — " 

He was still a little pale, and spoke with 
a certain emotion, having suddenly realised, 
with a mixture of nervous boldness and 
terror, the other side of the question. Mr. 
Burton turned away with a shrug of his 
shoulders. 

" It suits you two to talk sentiment instead 
of business," he said, " but that is not in my 
line. So long as my own credit is concerned, 
I find that a much greater stimulant than 
anybody else's. Self-interest is the root of 
everything — in business ; and if you succeed 
for yourself, which of course is your first 
motive, you succeed for your neighbours as 
well. I don't take credit for any fine senti- 
ments. That is my commercial creed. Num- 



AT HIS GATES. 



453 



ber one includes all the other numbers, and 
the best a man can do for his friends is to 
take care of himself." 

He got up with a slight show of impatience 
as he spoke. His face was overcast, and he 
had the half-contemptuous air which a prac- 
tical man naturally assumes when he listens 
to anything high-flown. He, for his part, 
professed to be nothing but a man of busi- 
ness, and had confidence enough in his 
friends' knowledge of him to be able to 
express the most truculent sentiments. So, 
at least, Haldane thought, who smiled at this 
transparent cynicism. " I suppose, then, we 
are justified in thinking anything that is bad 
of you, and ought not to trust you with a 



penny 



?" he said. 



If you trust anything to me personally, 
of course I shall take care of it," answered 
the merchant. " But what we were talking 
of was Rivers's — business, not personal friend- 
ship. And business cannot afford such risks. 
You must examine into it, and judge of its 
claims for yourself. Come, let us dismiss the 
subject. I will tell Mr. Baldwin I found you 
looking a great deal better than I hoped." 

" But I don't want to dismiss the subject," 
said Haldane. " I am satisfied. 1 am 

anxious " 

" Think it over once more, at least," said 
the other hastily ; and he went away with 
but scant leave-taking. Mrs. Haldane, who 
was a wise woman, and, without knowing it, 
a physiognomist, shook her head. 

" That man means what he says," she said 
with some emphasis. "He is telling you his 
real principles. If I were you, Stephen, I 
would take him at his word." 

" My dear mother, he is one of the men 
who take pleasure in putting the worst face 
on human nature, and attributes everything 
to selfish motives," said the sick man. " I 
very seldom believe those who put such senti- 
ments so boldly forth." 

" But I do," said his mother, shaking her 
head with that obstinate conviction which 
takes up its position at once and defies all 
reason. Her son made no answer. He 
leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. 
The momentary excitement was over, the 
friends gone, and the new and terrible Life 
settled down upon him. He did not say a 
word to indicate what was passing through 
his mind, but he thought of the ship which 
drifted between the sea and the mariner, and 
the nightmare Life in death casting her dice 
with the less appalling skeleton. It was she 
who had won. 

In the meantime the two directors of 



Rivers's bank walked out together ; one of 
them recovering all his self-confidence the 
moment he left the house, the other possessed 
by a certain tremulous excitement. The idea 
of risk was new to the painter. He felt a 
certain half-delightful, half-alarming agitation 
when he made his first ventures, but that had 
soon yielded to his absolute confidence in 
the man who now, with his own lips, had 
named the fatal word. Robert's imagination, 
the temperament of the artist, which is so 
often fantastically moved by trifles, while 
strong to resist the presence of fact and 
certainty, had sustained a shock. He did not 
say anything while they walked up the road 
under the faded autumnal leaves which kept 
dropping through the still air upon their 
heads. In this interval he had represented 
to himself all the solid guarantees, all the 
prestige, all the infallibility (for had it not 
attained that point?) of Rivers's. Sure .as the 
Bank of England ! Such were the words 
that rose continually to everybody's lips on 
hearing of it. Robert propped himself up as 
he went along with one support and another, 
till he felt ashamed that he could be capable 
of entertaining a shadow of doubt. But the 
impression made upon his nerves was not to 
be overcome by simple self-argument. Time 
was wanted to calm it down. He felt 
a certain thrill and jar communicated 
through all the lines of life. The sensation 
ran to his very finger-points, and gave a 
sharp electric shock about the roots of 
his hair. And it set his heart and his pulse 
beating, more likely organs to be affected. 
Loss ! That was to say Helen and the 
child deprived of the surroundings that 
made their life so fair ; driven back to the 
poor little lodgings, perhaps, in which their 
life began, or to something poorer still. Per- 
haps to want, perhaps to " What a fool 

I am !" he said to himself. 

" Do you really object to Haldane as one 
of our shareholders?" he said, with a certain 
hesitation, at last. 

"Object — the idiot!" said Mr. Burton. 
" I beg your pardon, Drummond, I know he's 
a great friend of yours ; but all that nonsense 
exasperates me. Why, God bless me, his 
body is sick, but his mind is as clear as 
yours or mine. Why can't he judge for him- 
self? I am quite ready to give him, or you, 
or any one that interests me, the benefit of 
my experience ; but to take you on my shoul- 
ders, Drummond, you know, would be simply 
absurd. I can't foresee what may happen. I 
am ready to run the risk myself. That's the 
best guarantee I can give, don't you think ? 



454 



AT HIS GATES. 




but I won't run any sentimental risks. You 
may, if you like ; they are out of my line." 

" I don't know what you mean by senti- 
mental risks." 

" Oh, as for that, it is easy to explain. 
The man is very ill : he will never be of any 
use in life again, and loss would be destruc- 
tion to him. Therefore I won't take the 
responsibility. Why, there may be a revolu- 
tion in England next year, for anything I can 
tell. There may be an invasion. Our funds 
may be down to zero, and our business par- 
alyzed. How can I tell ? All these things 
are within the bounds of possibility, and if 
they happened, and we went to smash, as we 
should infallibly, what would Haldane do?" 

" If there is nothing to alarm us closer at 

hand than a revolution or an invasion " 

said Drummond with a smile. 

"How can we tell? If I were asked to 
insure England, I should only do it on a very 
heavy premium, I can tell you. And look 
here, Drummond, take my advice : always let 
a man judge for himself, never take the re- 



sponsibility. If you do, you'll be sorry after. 
I never knew a good man of business yet who 
went in, as I said, for sentimental risks." 

" I fear I shall never be a good man of 
business," said the painter, with a certain sick- 
ness at his heart. " But tell me now, suppose 
you were guardian to orphans, what should 
you do with their money? I suppose that 
is what you would call a very sentimental 
risk." 

" Not so bad as Haldane," said Burton. 
"They would be young and able to make 
their way if the worst came to the worst. 
If they were entirely in my own hands, I 
should invest the money as I thought best ; 
but if there were other guardians or relations 
to make a fuss, I should put it in the Three 
per Cents." 

" I really— don't — quite see what — differ- 
ence that would make " Robert com- 
menced, but his companion stopped him 
almost roughly. 

"The question won't bear discussing, 
Drummond. If I go in with you, will your 



THE HIDDEN JOY. 



455 



wife give me some lunch? I have lost my 
whole morning to please my father-in-law. 
Don't you bother yourself about Haldane. 
He is a clear-headed fellow, and perfectly 
able to judge for himself." 

Then no more was said. If a passing 
cloud had come over the merchant, it fled 
at sight of the table spread for luncheon, 
and the sherry, upon which poor Robert 
(knowing almost as little about that as he 
did about business) prided himself vastly. 
Mr. Burton applauded the sherry. He 
was more conversational even than usual, 
and very anxious that Drummond should 
look at a country-house in his neighborhood. 
" If you can't afford it now, you very soon 
will," he said, and without referring to Rivers' s, 
kept up such a continued strain of allusions 
to the good-fortune which was about to pour 
upon the house, that Robert's nerves were 
comforted, he could scarcely have told how. 
But he went and worked all the afternoon in 



the studio when the city man went off to his 
business. He labored hard at Francesca, 
fixing his whole mind upon her, not even 
whistling in his profound preoccupation. He 
had been absent from the studio for some 
time, and the feel of the old beloved tools 
was delightful to him. But when the early 
twilight came and interrupted his work, he 
went out and took a long walk by himself, 
endeavoring to shake off the tremor which 
still lingered about him. It was in his veins 
and in his nerves, tingling all over him. He 
reasoned with himself, shook himself up 
roughly, took himself to task, but yet did 
not get over it. "Bah! it is simple sensa- 
tion ! " he said at last, and with a violent 
effort turned his thoughts in another direc- 
tion. But the shock had left a tremor about 
him which was not quite dissipated for days 
after; for a man who is made of fanciful 
artist-stuff is not like a business man with 
nerves of steel. 



(To be continued. 



THE HIDDEN JOY. 

Through leafy by-paths, sheltered and apart, 
Whistling the carol of a careless heart, 
In idle gladness strolled a truant boy. 

Up in a tree-top swayed a little bird, 
And sang and sang, nor cared if any heard 
His solitary roundelay of joy. 

A brook flowed through the silence of a wood ; 
Some gorgeous flow r ers upon its margin stood, 
And waved their scarlet banners of delight. 

From evening's dusky blue shone out a star, 
And through the darkness trailed its splendor far, 
Though all the world w T as buried in the night. 

Joy asks no seeing eye, nor listening ear ; 
But carols, blooms, and shines when none is near, 
Only because it feels so fully blest. 



The mated bird flies not on open wing, 
But sings from out the bough, — and so I sing 
The happy secret hidden in my breast. 



456 



THE HAPPY TIME. 



THE HAPPY TIME. 







&- >^w 



The happy time when dreams have power to cheat 
Is past, dear friend, for me. As in old days, 
So still at times they throng their ancient ways. 

And trail their shining robes before my feet, 
Or stand, half-lifted to their native skies 
By the soft oval of white arms, with eyes 

Closing on looks unutterably sweet. 

Then the grim Truth beside me will arise 

And slay them, and their beauty is no more ; — 
No more their beauty, — saving such as dies 
Into the marble of mute lips, or flies 

With the swjft light of dying smiles, before 

The eye that strains to watch can tell for tears 

How passing fair it shone — how dusk have grown the year? 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



457 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 

BY GEORGE MACDONALD, 

AUTHOR OF "ANNALS OF A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD,' 1 " ALEC FORBES," "ROBERT FALCONER," ETC. 

(Continued from page 351.) 



CHAPTER LVII. 



ANOTHER DREAM. 



The excitement of having something to do 
had helped me over the morning, and the 
pleasure of thinking of what I had done 
helped me through the journey ; but before I 
reached home I was utterly exhausted. Then 
1 had to drive round by the farm, and knock 
up Mrs. Herbert and Styles. 

I could not bear the thought of my own 
room, and ordered a fire in my grandmother's, 
where they soon got me into bed. All I re- 
member of that night is the following dream : 

I found myself at the entrance of the ice- 
cave. A burning sun beat on my head, and 
at my feet Mowed the brook which gathered 
its life from the decay of the ice. I stooped 
to drink ; but, cool to the eye and hand and 
lips, it yet burned me within like fire. I 
would seek shelter from the sun inside the 
cave. I entered, and knew that the cold was 
all around me ; I even felt it ; but somehow 
it did not enter into me. My brain, my very 
bones, burned with fire. I went in and in. 
The blue atmosphere closed around me, and 
the color entered into my soul till it seemed 
dyed with the potent blue. My very being 
swam and floated in a blue atmosphere of its 
own. My intention — I can recall it perfectly 
— was but to walk to the end, a few yards, 
then turn and again brave the sun ; for I 
had a dim feeling of forsaking my work, of 
playing truant, or of being cowardly in thus 
avoiding the heat. Something else, too, was 
wrong, but I could not clearly tell what. As 
I went on, I began to wonder that I had not 
come to the end. The gray walls yet rose 
about me, and ever the film of dissolution 
flowed along their glassy faces to the runnel 
below ; still before me opened the depth of 
blue atmosphere, deepening as I went. After 
many windings the path be^an to branch, and 
soon I was lost in a labyrinth of passages, of 
which I knew not why I should choose one 
rather than another. It was useless now to 
think of returning. Arbitrarily I chose the 
narrowest way, and still went on. 

A discoloration of the ice attracted my at- 
tention, and as I looked it seemed to retreat 
into the solid mass. There was something 
not ice within it which grew more and more 
distinct as I gazed, until at last I plainly dis- 



tinguished the form of my grandmother, 
lying as then when my aunt made me touch 
her face. A few yards further on lay the 
body of my uncle, as I saw him in his coffin. 
His face was dead white in the midst of the 
cold, clear ice, his eyes closed, and his arms 
straight by his sides. He lay like an alabas- 
ter king upon his tomb. It was he, I thought, 
but he would never speak to me more — never 
look at me — never more awake. There lay 
all that was left of him — the cold frozen 
memory of what he had been and would 
never be again. I did not weep. I only 
knew somehow in my dream that life was all 
a wandering in a frozen cave, where the faces 
of the living were dark with the coming cor- 
ruption, and the memories of the dead, cold 
and clear and hopeless evermore, alone were 
lovely. 

I walked further ; for the ice might possess 
yet more of the past — all that was left me of 
life. And again I stood and gazed, for, deep 
within, 1 saw the form of Charley — at rest 
now, his face bloodless, but not so death-like 
as my uncle's. His hands were laid palm to 
palm over his bosom, and pointed upwards 
as if praying for comfort w T here comfort was 
none : here at least were no flickerings of the 
rainbow fancies of faith and hope and charity ! 
I gazed in comfortless content for a time on 
the repose of my weary friend, and then went 
on, inly moved to see what further the ice of 
the godless region might hold. Nor had I 
wandered far when I saw the form of Mary, 
lying like the rest, only that her hands were 
crossed on her bosom. I stood, wondering 
to find myself so little moved. But when the 
ice drew nigh me, and would have closed 
around me, my heart leaped for joy ; and 
when the heat of my lingering life repelled it, 
my heart sunk within me, and I said to my- 
self: " Death will not have me. I may not 
join her even in the land of cold forgetful- 
ness : I may not even be nothing with her." 
The tears began to flow down my face, like 
the thin veil of water that kept ever flowing 
down the face of the ice ; and as I wept, the 
water before me flowed faster and faster, till 
it rippled in a sheet down the icy wall. 
Faster and yet faster it flowed, falling, with 
the sound as of many showers, into the run- 
nel below, which rushed splashing and gur- 
gling away from the foot of the vanishing 



458 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



wall. Faster and faster it flowed, until the 
solid mass fell in a foaming cataract, and 
swept in a torrent across the cave. I fol- 
lowed the retreating wall through the seething 
water at its foot. Thinner and thinner grew 
the dividing mass ; nearer and nearer came 
the form of my Mary. " I shall yet clasp 
her," I cried ; " her dead form will kill me, 
and I too shall be inclosed in the friendly ice. 
I shall not be with her, alas ; but neither shall 
I be without her, for I shall depart into the 
lovely nothingness." Thinner and thinner 
grew the dividing wall. The skirt of her 
shroud hung like a wet weed in the falling 
torrent. I kneeled in the river, and crept 
nearer, with outstretched arms : when the 
vanishing ice set the dead form free, it should 
rest in those arms — the last gift of the life- 
dream — for then, surely, I must die. " Let 
me pass in the agony of a lonely embrace ! " 
I cried. As I spoke she moved. I started to 
my feet, stung into life by the agony of a new 
hope. Slowly the ice released her, and gently 
she rose to her feet. The torrents of water 
ceased — they had flowed but to set her free. 
Her eyes were still closed, but she made one 
blind step towards me, and laid her left hand 
on my head, her right hand on my heart. 
Instantly, body and soul, I was cool as a 
summer eve after a thunder-shower. For a 
moment, precious as an aeon, she held her 
hands upon me — then slowly opened her 
eyes. Out of them flashed the living soul of 
my Athanasia. She closed the lids again 
slowly over the lovely splendor ; the water in 
which we stood rose around us, and on its 
last billow she floated away through the wind- 
ing passage of the cave. I sought to follow 
her, but could not. I cried aloud and awoke. 

But the burning heat had left me ; 1 felt 
that I had passed a crisis, and had begun to 
recover — a conviction which would have been 
altogether unwelcome, but for the poor 
shadow of a reviving hope which accom- 
panied it. Such a dream, come whence it 
might, could not but bring comfort with it. 
The hope grew, and was my sole medicine. 

Before the evening I felt better, and though 
still very feeble, managed to write to Marston, 
letting him know I was safe, and requesting 
him to forward any letters that might arrive. 

The next day I rose, but was unable to 
work. The very thought of writing sickened 
me. Neither could I bear the thought of 
returning to London. I tried to read, but 
threw aside book after book, without being 
able to tell what one of them was about. If 
for a moment I seemed to enter into the sub- 
ject, before I reached the bottom of the page 



I found I had not an idea as to what the 
words meant or whither they tended. After 
many failures, unwilling to give myself up 
to idle brooding, I fortunately tried some of 
the mystical poetry of the seventeenth cen- 
tury : the difficulties of that I found to rather 
stimulate than repel me ; while, much as there 
was in the form to displease the taste, there 
was more in the matter to rouse the intellect. 
I found also some relief in resuming my 
mathematical studies : the abstraction of 
them acted as an anodyne. But the days 
dragged wearily. 

As soon as I was able to get on horseback, 
the tone of mind and body began to return. 
1 felt as if into me some sort of animal 
healing passed from Lilith ; and who can tell 
in how many ways the lower animals may not 
minister to the higher ? 

One night I had a strange experience. I 
give it without argument, perfectly aware that 
the fact may be set down to the disordered 
state of my physical nature, and that without 
injustice. 

I had not for a long time thought about 
one of the questions which had so much oc- 
cupied Charley and myself — that of immor- 
tality. As to any communication between the 
parted, I had never, during his life, pondered 
the possibility of it, although I had always 
had an inclination to believe that such inter- 
course had in rare instances taken place : for- 
mer periods of the world's history, when that 
blinding self-consciousness which is the bane 
of ours was yet undeveloped, must, I thought, 
have been far more favorable to its occurrence. 
Anyhow I was convinced that it was not to 
be gained by effort. I confess that, in the un- 
thinking agony of grief after Charley's death, 
many a time when I woke in the middle of 
the night and could sleep no more, I sat up 
in bed and prayed him, if he heard me, to 
come to me, and let me tell him the truth — 
for my sake to let me know at least that he 
lived, for then I should be sure that one day 
all would be well. But if there was any hear- 
ing, there was no answer. Charley did not 
come ; the prayer seemed to vanish in the 
darkness ; and my more self-possessed medi- 
tations never justified the hope of any such 
being heard. 

One night I was sitting in my grannie's 
room, which, except my uncle's, was now the 
only one I could bear to enter. I had been 
reading for some time very quietly, but had 
leaned back in my chair, and let my thoughts 
go wandering whither they would, when all at 
once I was possessed by the conviction that 
Charley was near me. I saw nothing, heard 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



459 



nothing ; of the recognized senses of human- 
ity not one gave me a hint of a presence; 
and yet my whole body was aware — so at least 
it seemed— of the proximity of another /. It 
was as if some nervous region commensurate 
with my frame were now for the first time re- 
vealed by contact with an object suitable for 
its apprehension. Like Eliphaz, I felt the 
hair of my head stand up — not from terror, 
but simply, as it seemed, from the presence 
and its strangeness. Like others also of whom 
I have read, who believed themselves in the 
presence of the disembodied, I could not 
speak. I tried, but as if the medium for 
sound had been withdrawn, and an empty gulf 
lay around me, no word followed, although 
my very soul was full* of the cry — Charley ! 
CJiarley / And alas ! in a few moments, like 
the faint vanishing of an unrealized thought, 
leaving only the assurance that something 
half-born from out the unknown had been 
there, the influence faded and died. It passed 
from me like the shadow of a cloud, ano>once 
more I knew but my poor lonely self, return- 
ing to its candles, its open book, its burning 
fire. 

CHAPTER LVIII. 
THE DARKEST HOUR. 

Suffering is perhaps the only preparation 
for suffering : still I was but poorly prepared 
for what followed. 

Having gathered strength, and a certain 
quietness which I could not mistake for peace, 
I returned to London towards the close of 
the spring. I had in the interval heard noth- 
ing of Mary. The few letters Marston had 
sent on had been almost exclusively from my 
publishers. But the very hour I reached my 
lodging came a note, which I opened trem- 
bling, for it was in the handwriting of Miss 
Pease. 

" Dear Sir — I cannot, I think, be wrong 
in giving you a piece of information which 
will be in the newspapers to-morrow morning. 
Your old acquaintance and my young rela- 
tive, Mr. Brotherton, was married this morn- 
ing, at St. George's, Hanover Square, to your 
late friend's sister, Miss Mary Osborne. 
They ha.ve just left for Dover on their way to 
Switzerland. Your sincere well-wisher, 

"Jane Pease." 

Even at this distance of time, I should 
have to exhort myself to write with calmness, 
were it not that the utter despair of convey- 
ing my feelings, if indeed my soul had not for 
the time passed beyond feeling into some 
abyss unknown to human consciousness, ren- 
ders it unnecessary. This despair of com- 



munication has two sources — the one simply 
the conviction of the impossibility of express- 
ing any feeling, much more such feeling as 
mine then was — and is ; the other the con- 
viction that only to the heart of love can the 
sufferings of love speak. The attempt of a 
lover to move, by the presentation of his own 
suffering, the heart of her who loves him not, 
is as unavailing as it is unmanly. The poet 
who sings most wailfully of the torments of 
the lover's hell, is but a sounding brass and a 
tinkling cymbal in the ears of her who has at 
best only a general compassion to meet tli£ 
song withal — possibly only an individual 
vanity which crowns her with his woes as with 
the trophies of a conquest. True, he is un- 
derstood and worshiped by all the other 
wailful souls in the first infernal circle, as one 
of the great men of their order — able to put 
into words full of sweet torment the dire 
hopelessness of their misery ; but for such 
the singer, singing only for ears eternally deaf 
to his song, cares nothing ; or if for a moment 
he receive consolation from their sympathy, 
it is but a passing weakness which the breath 
of an indignant self-condemnation — even con- 
tempt, the next moment sweeps away. In 
God alone there must be sympathy and cure ; 
but I had not then — have I indeed yet found 
what that cure is ? I am, at all events, now 
able to write with calmness. If suffering 
destroyed itself, as some say, mine ought to 
have disappeared long ago ; but to that I can 
neither pretend nor confess. 

For the first time, after all I had encoun- 
tered, I knew what suffering could be. It is 
still at moments an agony as of hell to recall 
this and the other thought that then stung me 
like a white-hot arrow : the shafts have long 
been drawn out, but the barbed heads are 
still there. I neither stormed nor maddened. 
I only felt a freezing hand lay hold of my 
heart, and gripe it closer and closer, till I 
should have sickened, but that the pain ever 
stung me into fresh life ; and ever since I 
have gone about the world with that hard 
lump somewhere in my bosom into which the 
griping hand and the griped heart have grown 
and stiffened. 

I fled at once back to my solitary house, 
looking for no relief in its solitude, only the 
negative comfort of escaping the eyes of men. 
I could not bear the sight of my fellow-crea- 
tures. To say that the world had grown 
black to me, is as nothing : I ceased — I will 
not say to believe in God, for I never dared 
say that mighty thing — but I ceased to hope 
in God. The universe had grown a negation 
which yet forced its presence upon me — a 



4&o 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



death that bred worms. If there were a God 
anywhere, this universe could be nothing 
more than His forsaken moth-eaten garment. 
He was a God who did not care. Order was 
all an invention of phosphorescent human 
brains ; light itself the mocking smile of a 
Jupiter over his writhing sacrifices. At times 
I laughed at the tortures of my own heart, 
saying to it, "Writhe on, worm; thou de- 
servest thy writhing in that thou writhest. 
Godless creature, why dost thou not laugh 
with me ? Am I not merry over thee and the 
world — in that ye are both rottenness to the 
core?" The next moment my heart and I 
would come together with a shock, and I 
knew it was myself that scorned myself. 

Such being my mood, it will cause no sur- 
prise if I say that I too was tempted to sui- 
cide ; the wonder would have been if it had 
been otherwise. The soft, keen curves of 
that fatal dagger, which had not only slain 
Charley, but all my hopes — for had he lived, 
this horror could not have been — grew almost 
lovely in my eyes. Until now it had looked 
cruel, fiendish, hateful ; but now I would lay 
it before me and contemplate it. In some 
griefs there is a wonderful power of self-con- 
templation, which, indeed, forms their only 
solace ; the moment it can set the sorrow 
away from itself sufficiently to regard it, the 
tortured heart begins to repose ; but suddenly, 
like a waking tiger, the sorrow leaps again 
into its lair, and the agony commences anew. 
The dagger was the type of my grief and its 
torture : might it not, like the brazen serpent, 
be the cure for the sting of its living counter- 
part ? But, alas ! where was the certainty ? 
Could I slay myself? This outer breathing 
form I could dismiss — but the pain was not 
there. I was not mad, and I knew that a 
deeper death than that could give, at least 
than I had any assurance that could give, 
alone could bring repose. For, impossible 
as I had always found it actually to believe 
in immortality, I now found it equally impos- 
sible to believe in annihilation. And even if 
annihilation should be the final result, who 
could tell but it might require ages of a hor- 
rible slow-decaying dream-consciousness to 
kill the living thing which felt itself other than 
its body ? 

Until now I had always accepted what 
seemed the natural and universal repugnance 
to absolute dissolution as the strongest argu- 
ment on the side of immortality ; — for why 
should a man shrink from that which belonged 
to his nature ? But now annihilation seemed 
the one lovely thing, the one sole only lonely 
thought in which lay no blackness of burning 



darkness. Oh, for one eternal unconscious 
sleep ! — the nearest likeness we can cherish 
of that inconceivable nothingness — ever de- 
nied by the very thinking of it — by the vain 
attempt to realize that whose very existence 
is the knowing nothing of itself ! Could that i 
dagger have insured me such repose, or had 
there been any draught of Lethe, utter Lethe, 
whose blessed poison would have assuredly j 
dissipated like a fume this conscious, self- 
tormenting me, I should not now be writhing 
anew, as in the clutches of an old grief, clasp- 
ing me like a corpse, stung to simulated life 
by the galvanic battery of recollection. Vivid 
as it seems, all I suffer as I write is but a faint 
phantasm of what I then endured. 

I learned, therefore, that to some minds the 
argument for immortality drawn from the ap- 
parently universal shrinking from annihilation 
must be ineffectual, seeing they themselves do 
not shrink from it. Convince a man that 
there is no God, or — for I doubt if that be 
altogether possible — make it, I will say, im- 
possible for him to hope in God — and it can- 
not be that annihilation should seem an evil. 
If there is no God, annihilation is the one 
thing to be longed for with all that might of 
longing which is the mainspring of human ac- 
tion. In a word, it is not immortality the 
human heart cries out after, but that immortal, 
eternal thought whose life is its life, whose 
wisdom is its wisdom, whose ways and whose 
thoughts shall — must one day — become its 
ways and its thoughts. Dissociate immor- 
tality with the living Immortality, and it is 
not a thing to be desired — not a thing that j 
can on those terms, or even on the fancy of 
those terms, be desired. 

But such thoughts as these were far enough 
from me then. I lived because I despaired 
of death. I ate by a sort of blind animal in- 
stinct, and so lived. The time had been 
when I would despise myself for being able 
to eat in the midst of emotion; but now I 
cared so little for the emotion even, that eat- 
ing or not eating had nothing to do with the i 
matter. I ate because meat was set before 
me ; I slept because sleep came upon me. 
It was a horrible time. My life seemed only 
a vermiculate one, a crawling about of half- 
thoughts-half-feelings through the corpse of a 
decaying existence. The heart of being was 
withdrawn from me, and my life was but the 
vacant pericardium in which it had once 
throbbed out and sucked in the red fountains 
of life and gladness. 

I would not be thought to have fallen to 
this all but bottomless depth only because I 
had lost Mary. Still less was it because of 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



461 



the fact that in her, around whom had gather- 
ed all the devotion with which the man in me 
could regard woman, I had lost all woman- 
kind. It was the loss of Mary, as I then 
judged it, not, I repeat, the fact that /had 
lost her. It was that she had lost herself. 
Thence it was, I say, that I lost my hope in 
God. For, if there were a God, how could 
He let purity be clasped in the arms of de- 
filement ? how could He marry my Athanasia 
— not to a corpse, but to a Plague ? Here 
was the man who had done more to ruin her 
brother than any but her father, and God had 
given her to him I /had had, with the com- 
monest of men, some notion of womanly 
purity — how was it that hers had not instinct- 
ively shuddered and shrunk ? how was it 
that the life of it had not taken refuge with 
death to shun bare contact with the coarse 
impurity of such a nature as that of Geoffrey 
Brotherton ? My dreams had been dreams 
indeed ! Was my Athanasia dead, or had 
she never been ? In my thought, she had 
" said to Corruption, Thou art my father ; to 
the worm, thou art my mother and my sister." 
Who should henceforth say of any woman 
that she was impure ? She might love him 
— true ; but what was she then who was able 
to love such a man ? It was this that stormed 
the citadel of my hope, and drove me from 
even thinking of a God. 

Gladly would I now have welcomed any 
bodily suffering that could hide me from my- 
self ; but no illness came. I was a living 
pain, a conscious ill-being. In a thousand 
forms those questions would ever recur, but 
without hope of answer. When I fell asleep 
from exhaustion, hideous visions of her with 
Geoffrey would start me up with a great cry, 
sometimes with a curse, on my lips. Nor 
were they the most horrible of those dreams 
in which she would help him to mock me. 
Once, and only once, I found myself dream- 
ing the dream of that night, and I knew that 
I had dreamed it before. Through palace 
and chapel and charnel-house I followed her, 
ever with a dim sense of awful result ; and 
when at the last she lifted the shining veil, 
instead of the face of Athanasia, the bare 
teeth of a skull grinned at me from under a 
spotted shroud, through which the sunlight 
shone from behind, revealing all its horrors. 
I was not mad— my reason had not given 
way : how remains a marvel. 

CHAPTER LIX. 
THE DAWN. 

All places were alike to me now — for the 
universe was but one dreary chasm whence I 



could not escape. One evening I sat by the 
open window of my chamber, which looked 
towards those trees and that fatal Moldwarp 
Hall. My suffering had now grown dull by 
its own excess, and I had moments of listless 
vacuity, the nearest approach to peace I had 
yet experienced. It was a fair evening of 
early summer — but I was utterly careless of 
nature as of all beyond it. The sky was 
nothing to me — and the earth was all un- 
lovely. There I sat, heavy, but free from 
torture ; a kind of quiet had stolen over me. 
I was roused by the tiniest breath of wind on 
my cheek, as if the passing wing of some but- 
terfly had fanned me ; antl on that faintest mo- 
tion came a scent as from long-forgotten fields, 
a scent like as of sweet-peas or wild roses, 
but of neither : flowers were none nearer me 
than the gardens of the Hall. I started with 
a cry. It was the scent of the garments of 
my Athanasia, as I had dreamed it in my 
dream ! Whence that wind had borne it, who 
could tell ? but in the husk that had over- 
grown my being it had found a cranny, and 
through that cranny, with the scent, Nature 
entered. I looked up to the blue sky, wept, 
and for the first time fell on my knees. " O 
God ! " I cried, and that was all. But what 
art the prayers of the whole universe more 
than expansions of that one cry? It is not 
what God can give us, but God that we want. 
Call the whole thing fancy if you will ; it was 
at least no fancy that the next feeling of which 
I was conscious was compassion : from that 
moment I began to search heaven and earth 
and the soul of man and woman for excuses 
wherewith to clothe the idea of Mary Os- 
borne. For weeks and weeks I pondered, 
and by degrees the following conclusions 
wrought themselves out in my brain : — 

That she had never seen life as a whole ; 
that her religious theories had ever been eat- 
ing away and absorbing her life, so preventing 
her religion from interpenetrating and glorify- 
ing it ; that in regard to certain facts and con- 
sequences she had been left to an ignorance 
which her innocence rendered profound ; that, 
attracted by the worldly splendor of the offer, 
her father and mother had urged her compli- 
ance, and broken in spirit by the fate of Char- 
ley, and having always been taught that self- 
denial was in itself a virtue, she had taken the 
worldly desires of her parents for the will of 
God, and blindly yielded ; that Brotherton was 
capable, for his ends, of representing himself 
as possessed of religion enough to satisfy the 
scruples of her parents, and such being satis- 
fied, she had resisted her own as evil things. 

Whether his hatred of me had had any 



462 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



share in his desire to possess her, I hardly 
thought of inquiring. 

Of course I did not for a single moment 
believe that Mary had had the slightest notion 
of the bitterness, the torture, the temptation 
of Satan it would be to me. Doubtless the 
feeling of her father concerning the death of 
Charley had seemed to hollow an impassable 
gulf between us. Worn and weak, and not 
knowing what she did, my dearest friend had 
yielded herself to the embrace of my deadliest 
foe. If he was such as I had too good reason 
for believing him, she was far more to be 
pitied than I. Lonely she must be — lonely 
as I — for who was the*re to understand and love 
her ? Bitterly too by this time she must have 
suffered, for the dove can never be at peace 
in the bosom of the vulture, or cease to hate 
the carrion of which he must ever carry about 
with him at least the disgusting memorials. 
Alas ! I too had been her enemy, and had 
cried out against her 5 but now I would love 
her more and better than ever ! Oh ! if I 
knew but something I could do for her, some 
service which on the bended knees of my 
spirit I might offer her ! I clomb the heights 
of my grief, and looked abroad, but alas ! I 
was such a poor creature ! A dabbler in the 
ways of the world, a writer of tales which 
even those who cared to read them counted 
fantastic and Utopian, who was I to weave a 
single silken thread into the web of her life ? . 
How could I bear her one poorest service ? 
Never in this world could I approach her 
near enough to touch yet once again the hem 
of her garment. All I could do was to love 
her. No — I could and did suffer for her. 
Alas ! that suffering was only for myself, and 
could do nothing for her ! It was indeed 
some consolation to me that my misery came 
from her hand ; but if she knew it, it would 
but add to her pain. In my heart I could 
only pray her pardon for my wicked and self- 
ish thoughts concerning her, and vow again 
and ever to regard her as my Athanasia. But 
yes ! there was one thing I could do for her : 
I would be a true ma*n for her sake ; she 
should have some satisfaction in me ; I would 
once more arise and go to my Father. 

The instant the thought arose in my mind, 
I fell down before the possible God in an 
agony of weeping. All complaint of my own 
doom had vanished, now that I began to do 
her the justice of love. Why should I be 
blessed — here and now at least — according to 
my notions of blessedness ? Let the great 
heart of the universe do with me as it pleased ! 
Let the Supreme take his own time to justify 
himself to the heart that sought to love him ! 



I gave up myself, was willing to suffer, to be 
a living pain, sO long as he pleased ; and the 
moment I yielded, half the pain was gone ; I 
gave my Athanasia yet again to God, and all 
might yet, in some high, far-off, better-world- 
way, be well. I could wait and endure. If 
only God was, and was God, then it was, or 
would be, well with Mary — well with me ! 

But as I still sat, a flow of sweet, sad, re- 
pentant thought passing gently through my 
bosom, all at once the self to which, unable 
to confide it to the care of its own very life, 
the God conscious of himself, and in himself 
conscious of it, I had been for months offer- 
ing the sacrifices of despair and indignation, 
arose in spectral hideousness before me. I 
saw that I, a child of the infinite, had been 
worshiping the finite — and therein dragging 
down the infinite towards the fate of the finite. 
I do not mean that in Mary Osborne I had 
been worshiping the finite. It was the eternal, 
the lovely, the true that in her I had been 
worshiping : in myself I had been worshiping 
the mean, the selfish, the finite, the god of 
spiritual greed. Only in himself can a man 
find the finite to worship ; only in turning 
back upon himself does he create the finite 
for and by his worship. All the works of God 
are everlasting ; the only perishable are some 
of the works of man. All love is the worship 
of the infinite : what is called a man's love for 
himself, is not love ; it is but a phantastic re- 
semblance of love ; it is the creating of the 
finite, a creation of death. A man cannot 
love himself. If all love be not creation — as 
I think it is — it is at least the only thing in 
harmony with creation and the love of oneself 
in its absolute opposite. I sickened at the 
sight of myself : how should I ever get rid of 
the demon ? The same instant I saw the 
one escape : I must offer it back to its source 
— commit it to him who had made it. I must 
live no more from it, but from the source of 
it ; seek to know nothing more of it than he 
gave me to know by his presence therein. 
Thus might I become one with the Eternal in 
such an absorption as Buddha had never 
dreamed ; thus might I draw life ever fresh 
from its fountain. And in that fountain alone 
would I contemplate its reflex. What flashes 
of self-consciousness might cross me, should 
be God's gift, not of my seeking, and offered 
again to him in ever new self-sacrifice. Alas ! 
alas ! this I saw then, and this I yet see ; but 
oh, how far am I still from that divine anni- 
hilation ! The only comfort is, God is, and I 
am his, else I should not be at all. 

I saw too that thus God also lives — in his 
higher way. I saw, shadowed out in the ab- 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



463 



solute devotion of Jesus to men, that the very 
life of God by which we live is an everlasting 
eternal giving of himself away. He asserts 
himself, only, solely, altogether, in an infinite 
sacrifice of devotion. So must we live ; the 
child must be as the father ; live he cannot 
on any other plan, struggle as he may. The 
father requires of him nothing that he is not 
or does not himself, who is the one prime un- 
conditioned sacrificer and sacrifice. I threw 
myself on the ground, and offered back my 
poor wretched self to its owner, to be taken 
and kept, purified and made divine. 

The same moment a sense of reviving 
health began to possess me. With many 
fluctuations, it has possessed me, has grown, 
and is now, if not a persistent cheerfulness, 
yet an unyielding hope. The world bloomed 
again around me. The sunrise again grew 
gloriously dear ; and the sadness of the moon 
was lighted from a higher sun than that which 
returns with the morning. 

My relation to Mary resolved and re-formed 
itself in my mind into something I can ex- 
plain only by the following — call it a dream : 
it was not a dream ; call it a vision : it was 
not a vision ; and yet I will tell it as if it were 
either, being far truer than either. 

I lay like a child on one of God's arms. I 
could not see his face, and the arm that held 
me was a great cloudy arm. I knew that on 
his other arm lay Mary. But between us 
were forests and plains, mountains and great 
seas ; and, unspeakably worse than all, a gulf 
with which words had nothing to do, a gulf 
of pure separation, of impassable nothingness, 
across which no device, I say not of human 
skill, but of human imagination, could cast a 
single connecting cord. There lay Mary, and 
here lay I — both in God's arms — utterly 
parted. As in a swoon I lay, through which 
suddenly came the words : "What God hath 
joined, man cannot sunder." I lay thinking 
what they could mean. All at once I thought 
I knew. Straightway I rose on the cloudy 
arm, looked down on a measureless darkness 
beneath me, and up on a great, dreary world- 
filled eternity above me, and crept along the 
arm towards the bosom of God. 

-neither vision nor dream 



In tellim 



my 



nor ecstasy, I cannot help it that the forms 
grow so much plainer and more definite in 
the words than they were in the revelation. 
"Words always give either too much or too lit- 
tle shape : when you want to be definite, you 
find your words clumsy and blunt ; when you 
want them for a vague shadowy image, you 
straightway find them give a sharp and im- 
pertinent outline, refusing to lend themselves 



to your undefined though vivid thought. 
Forms themselves are hard enough to man- 
age, but words are unmanageable. I must 
therefore trust to the heart of my reader. 

I crept into the bosom of God, and along 
a great cloudy peace, which I could not un- 
derstand, for it did not yet enter into me. 
At length I came to the heart of God, and 
through that my journey lay. The moment I 
entered it, the great peace appeared to enter 
mine, and I began to understand it. Some- 
thing melted in my heart, and for a moment I 
thought I was dying, but I found I was being 
born again. My heart was empty of its old 
selfishness, and I loved Mary tenfold — noi 
longer in the least for my own sake, but all 
for her loveliness. The same moment I knew 
that the heart of God was a bridge, along 
which I was crossing the unspeakable eternal 
gulf that divided Mary and me. At length, 
somehow, I know not how — somewhere, I 
know not where, I was where she was. She 
knew nothing of my presence, turned neither 
face nor eye to meet me, stretched out no 
hand to give me the welcome of even a friend, 
and yet I not only knew, but felt that she was 
mine. I wanted nothing from her ; desired 
the presence of her loveliness only that I 
might know it ; hung about her life as a but- 
terfly over the flower he loves ; was satisfied 
that she should be. I had left myself behind 
in the heart of God, and now I was a pure 
essence, fit to rejoice in the essential. But 
alas ! my whole being was not yet subject to 
its best. I began to long to be able to do 
something for her besides — I foolishly said 
beyond loving her. Back rushed my old self 
in the selfish thought : Some day — will she 

not know — and at least ? That moment 

the vision vanished. I was tossed — ah ! let 
me hope, only to the other arm of God — but 
I lay in torture yet again. For a man may see 
visions manifold, and believe them all ; and 
yet his faith shall not save him ; something 
more is needed— he must have that presence 
of God in his soul, of which the Son of Man 
spoke, saying: "-If a man love me he will 
keep my words : and my father will love him, 
and we will come unto him, and make our 
abode with him." God in him, he will be able 
to love for very love's sake ; God not in him, 
his best love will die into selfishness. 

CHAPTER LX. 
MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER. 

The morning then which had thus dawned 
upon me, was often over-clouded heavily. 
Yet it was the morning and not the night ; 
and one of the strongest proofs that it was the 



464 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



morning, lay in this, that again I could think 
in verse. 

One day, after an hour or two of bitterness, 
1 wrote the following. A man's trouble must 
have receded from him a little for the mo- 



ment, if he descries any shape in it, so as to 
be able to give it form in words. I set it 
down with no hope of better than the vaguest 
sympathy. There came no music with this 
one : — 




If it be that a man and a woman, 
Are made for no mutual grief ; 

That each gives the pain to some other, 
And neither can give the relief; 

If thus the chain of the world 
Is tied round the holy feet, 



I scorn to shrink from facing 

What my brothers and sisters meet.. 

But I cry when the wolf is tearing 
At the core of my heart as now : 

When I was the man to be tortured, 
Why should the woman be thou ? 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



465 



I am not so ready to sink from the lofty into 
the abject now. If at times I yet feel that the 
whole creation is groaning and travailing, I 
know what it is for — its redemption from the 
dominion of its own death into that sole lib- 
erty which comes only of being filled and 
eternally possessed by God himself, its source 
and its life. 

And now I found also that my heart began 
to be moved with a compassion towards my fel- 
lows such as I had never before experienced. 
1 shall best convey what I mean by transcrib- 
ing another little poem I wrote about the 
same time : — 

Once I sat on a crimson throne, 

And I held the world in fee ; 
Below me I heard my brothers moan, 

And I bent me down to see ; — 

Lovingly bent and looked on them, 

But / had no inward pain ; 
I sat in the heart of my ruby gem, 

Like a rainbow without the rain. 

My throne is vanished ; helpless I lie 

At the foot of its broken stair ; 
And the sorrows of all humanity 

Through my heart make a thoroughfare. 

Let such things rest for a while : I have 
now to relate another incident — strange 
enough, but by no means solitary in the rec- 
ords of human experience. My reader will 
probably think that of dreams and visions 
there has already been more than enough ; 
but perhaps she will kindly remember that at 
this time I had no outer life at all. Whatever 
bore to me the look of existence was within 
me. All my days the tendency had been to 
an undue predominance of thought over ac- 
tion, and now that the springs of action were 
for a time dried up, what wonder was it if 
thought, lording it alone, should assume a 
reality beyond its right ? Hence the life of 
the day was prolonged into the night ; nor 
was there other than a small difference in their 
conditions, beyond the fact that the contrast 
of outer things was removed in sleep; 
whence the shapes which the waking thought 
had assumed, had space and opportunity, as 
it were, to thicken before the mental eye un- 
til they became clreams and visions. 

But concerning what I am about to relate 
I shall offer no theory. Such mere operation 
of my own thoughts may be sufficient to ac- 
count for it : I would only ask — does any one 
know what the mere operation of his own 
thoughts signifies ? I cannot isolate myself, 
especially in those moments when the indi- 
vidual will is less awake, from the ocean of 
life and thought which not only surrounds me, 
Vol. III.— m 



but on which I am in a sense one of the float- 
ing bubbles. 

I was asleep, but I thought I lay awake in 
bed — in the room where I still slept — that 
which had been my grannie's. It was dark 
midnight, and the wind was howling about the 
gable and in the chimneys. The door opened, 
and some one entered. By the lamp she carried 
I knew my great-grandmother — just as she 
looked in life, only that now she walked upright 
and with ease. That I was dreaming is plain 
from the fact that I felt no surprise at seeing her. 

"Wilfrid, come with me," she said, ap- 
proaching the bedside. " Rise." 

I obeyed like a child. 

"Put your cloak on," she continued. "It 
is a stormy midnight, but we have not so far 
to go as you may think." 

"I think nothing", grannie," I said. "I do 
not know where you want to take me." 

" Come and see then, my son. You must 
at last learn what has been kept from you far 
too long." 

As she spoke, she led the way down the 
stair, through the kitchen, and out into the 
dark night. I remember the wind blowing 
my cloak about, but I remember nothing 
more until I found myself in the winding ha- 
zel-walled lane, leading to Umberden Church. 
My grannie was leading me by one withered 
hand ; in the other she held the lamp, over 
the flame of which the wind had no power. 
She led me into the churchyard, took the key 
from under the tombstone, unlocked the door 
of the church, put the lamp into my hand, 
pushed me gently in, and shut the door be- 
hind me. I walked to the vestry and set the 
lamp on the desk, with a vague feeling that I 
had been there before, and that I had now to 
do something at this desk. Above it I caught 
sight of the row of vellum-bound books, and 
remembered that one of them contained some- 
thing of importance to me. I took it down. 
The moment I opened it, I remembered with 
distinctness the fatal discrepancy in the entry 
of my grannie's marriage. I found the place : 
to my astonishment the date of the year was 
now the same as that on the preceding page 
— 1747. That instant I awoke in the first 
gush of the sunrise. 

I could not help feeling even a little excited 
by my dream, and the impression of it grew 
upon me : I wanted to see the book again. 
I could not rest. Something seemed con- 
stantly urging me to go and look at it. Half 
to get the thing out of my head, I sent Styles 
to fetch Lilith, and for the first time since the 
final assurance of my loss, mounted her. I 
rode for Umberden Church. 



4 66 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE.—AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY. 



It was long after noon before I had made 
up my mind, and when, having tied Lilith to 
the gate, I entered the church, one red ray 
from the setting sun was nestling in the very 
roof. Knowing what I should find, yet wishing 
to see it again, I walked across to the vestry, 
feeling rather uncomfortable* at the thought 
of prying thus alone into the parish register. 

I could almost have persuaded myself that 
I was dreaming still .; and in looking back, I 
can hardly in my mind separate the dreaming 
from the waking visit. 

Of course I found just what I had expect- 
ed — 1748, not 1747 — at the top of the page, 
and was about to replace the register, when 
the thought occurred to me that, if the dream 
had been potent enough to bring me hither, 
it might yet mean something. I lifted the 
cover again. There the ' entry stood unde- 
niably plain. This time, however, I noted 
two other little facts concerning it. 

I will just remind my reader that the entry- 
was crushed in between the date of the year 
and the next entry — plainly enough to the 
eye ; and that there was no attestation to the 
entries of 1747. The first additional fact — 
and clearly an important one — was, that in 
the summing up of 1 748, before the signature, 
which stood near the bottom of the cover, a 
figure had been altered. Originally it stood, 
" In all six couple," but the six had been 
altered to a seven — corresponding with the 
actual number. This appeared proof positive 
that the first entry on the cover was a forged 
insertion. And how clumsily it had been man- 
aged ! 

"What could my grannie be about?" I 
said to myself. 

It never occurred to me then that it might 
have been intended to look like a forgery. 

Still I kept staring at it, as if by very force 
of staring I could find out something. There 
was not the slightest sign of erasure or altera- 
tion beyond the instance I have mentioned. 
Yet — and here was my second note — when I 
compared the whole of the writing on the 
cover with the writing on the preceding page, 
though it seemed the same hand, it seemed to 
have got stifTer and shakier, as if the writer 
had grown old between. Finding nothing 
very suggestive in this, however, I fell into a 
dreamy mood, watching the red light as it 



faded, up in the old, dark, distorted roof of 
the desolate church — with my hand lying on 
the book. 

I have always had a bad habit of pulling 
and scratching at any knot or roughness in the 
paper of the book I happen be reading ; and 
now, almost unconsciously, with my fore- 
finger I was pulling at an edge of parchment 
which projected from the joint of the cover. 
When I came to myself, and proceeded to 
close the book, I found it would not shut 
properly because of a piece which I had curled 
up. Seeking to restore it to its former posi- 
tion, I fancied I saw a line or edge running 
all down the joint, and looking closer, saw 
that these last entries, in place of being upon 
a leaf of the book pasted to the cover in or- 
der to strengthen the binding, as I had sup- 
posed, were indeed upon a leaf which was 
pasted to the cover, but one not otherwise 
connected with the volume. 

I now began to feel a more lively interest 
in the behavior of my dream-grannie. Here 
might lie something to explain the hitherto 
inexplicable. I proceeded to pull the leaf 
gently away. It was of parchment, much 
thinner than the others, which were of vellum. 
I had withdrawn only a small portion when I 
saw there was writing under it. My heart 
began to beat faster. But I would not be 
rash. My old experience with parchment in 
the mending of my uncle's books came to my 
aid. If I pulled at the dry skin as I had 
been doing, I might not only damage it, but 
destroy the writing under it. I could do 
nothing without water, and I did not know 
where to find any. It would be better to ride 
to the village of Gastford, somewhere about 
two miles off, put up there, and arrange for 
future proceedings. 

I did not know the way, and for a long 
time could see no one to ask. The conse- 
quence was that I made a wide round, and it 
was nearly dark before I reached the village. 
I thought it better for the present to feed 
Lilith, and then make the best of my way 
home. 

The next evening — I felt so like a thief 
that I sought the thievish security of the night 
— having provided myself with what was ne- 
cessary, and borrowed a horse for Styles, I 
set out again. 



(Concluded in next number.) 



■»->•• 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



467 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



Why my sister married John Gray, I never 
could understand. I was twenty-two and she 
was eighteen when the marriage took place. 
They had known each other just one year. 
He had been passionately in love with her 
from the first day of their meeting. She had 
come more slowly to loving him : but love him 
she did, with a love of such depth and fervor 
as are rarely seen. He was her equal in nothing 
except position and wealth. He had a singu- 
lar mixture of the faults of opposite temper- 
aments. He had the reticent, dreamy, pro- 
crastinating inertia of the bilious melancholic 
man, side by side with the impressionable 
sensuousness, the sensitive sentimentalism of 
the most sanguine-nervous type. There is 
great fascination in such a combination, es- 
pecially to persons of a keen, alert nature. 
My sister was earnest, wise, resolute. John 
Gray was nonchalant, shrewd, vacillating. My 
sister was exact, methodical, ready. John 
Gray was careless, spasmodic, dilatory. My 
sister had affectionateness. He had tender- 
ness. She was religious of soul ; he had a 
sort of transcendental perceptivity, so to speak, 
which kept him more alive to the comforts of 
religion than to its obligations. 

My sister would have gone to the stake 
rather than tell a lie. He would tell a lie 
unhesitatingly, rather than give anybody pain. 
My sister lived earnestly, fully, actively, in 
each moment of the present. It never seemed 
quite clear whether he were thinking of to-day, 
yesterday, or to-morrow. She was upright 
because she could not help it. He was upright, 
— when he was upright, — because of custom, 
taste, and the fitness of things. What fatal dis- 
crepancies ! what hopeless lack of real moral 
strength, enduring purpose, or principle in such 
a nature as John Gray's ! When I said these 
things to my sister, she answered always, with a 
quiet smile, " I love him." She neither admit- 
ted nor denied my accusations of his character. 
The strongest expression she ever used, the one 
which came nearest to being an indignant re- 
pelling of what I had said, was one day, when I 
exclaimed : 

" Ellen, I would die before I risked my 
happiness in the keeping of such a man." 

" My happiness is already in his keeping," 
said she in a steady voice, "and I believe his 
is in mine. He is to be my husband and not 
yours, dear ; you do not know him as I do. 
You do not understand him." 

But it is not to give analyses of her charac- 
ter or of his, nor to give a narrative of their 



family history, that I write this story. It is 
only one episode of their life that I shall try to 
reproduce here, and I do it because I believe 
that its lesson is of priceless worth to women. 

Ellen had been married fourteen years, and 
was the mother of five children, when the 
events which I am about to narrate took 
place. The years had gone peacefully and 
pleasantly in the main. The children, three 
girls and one boy, were fair and strong. Their 
life had been a very quiet one, for our village 
was far removed from excitements of all 
kinds. It was one of the suburban villages 

of , and most of the families living there 

were the families of merchants or lawyers 
doing business in the town, going in early in 
the morning, and returning late at night. 
There is usually a -singular lack of social in- 
tercourse in such communities ; whether it 
be that the daily departure and return of the 
head of the family keeps up a perpetual suc- 
cession of small crises of interest to the ex- 
clusion of others, or that the night finds all 
the fathers and brothers too tired to enjoy 
anything but slippers and cigars, I know not ; 
but certain it is that all such suburban villa- 
ges are unspeakably dull and lifeless. There 
is barely feeling enough of good neighborhood 
to keep up the ordinary interchange of com- 
monest civilities. 

Except for long visits to the city in the 
winter, and long journeys in the summer, I 
myself should have found life insupportably 
tedious. But Ellen was absolutely content. 
Her days were unvaryingly alike, a simple 
routine of motherly duties and housekeeping 
cares. Her evenings were equally unvaried, 
being usually spent in sewing or reading, 
while her husband, in seven evenings out of 
ten, dozed, either on the sofa, or on one of 
the children's little beds in the nursery. His 
exquisite tenderness to the children, and his 
quiet delight in simply being where they were, 
were the brightest points in John Gray's char- 
acter and life. 

But such monotony was not wholly good 
for either of them. He grew more and more 
dreamy and inert. She insensibly but con- 
tinually narrowed and hardened, and, without 
dreaming of such a thing, really came to be 
less and less a part of her husband's inner life. 
Faithful, busy, absorbed herself in t the cares 
of each day, she never observed ttiat he was 
living more and more in his children and his 
reveries, and withdrawing a little from her. 
She did not need constant play and inter 



468 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



change of sentiment as he did. Affectionate, 
loyal, devoted as she was, there was a side of 
her husband's nature which she had not seen 
or satisfied — perhaps never could. But nei- 
ther of them knew it. 

At this time Mr. Gray was offered a posi- 
tion of importance in the city, and it became 
necessary for them to move there to live. 
How I rejoiced in the change. How bitterly 
I regretted it before two years had passed ! 

Their city home was a beautiful one, and 
their connections and associations were such 
as to surround them at once with the most 
desirable companionships. At first it was 
hard for Ellen to readjust her system of living 
and to accustom herself to the demands and 
the pleasures of even a moderately social life. 
But she was by nature very fond of all such 
pleasures, and her house soon became one of 
the pleasantest centers, in a quiet way, of the 
comparatively quiet city. John Gray also 
expanded and brightened in the new atmos- 
phere ; he had always been a man of influence 
among men. All his friends, — even his ac- 
quaintances, — loved him, and asked his advice. 
It was a singular thing that a man so inert and 
procrastinating in his own affairs, should be 
so shrewd and practical and influential in 
the affairs of others, or in public affairs. 
This, however, was no stranger than many 
other puzzling incongruities in John Gray's 
character. But since his college days he had 
never mingled at all in general society until 
this winter, after their removal to town ; and 
it was with real delight that I watched his 
evident enjoyment of people, and their evi- 
dent liking and admiration for him. His 
manners were singularly simple and direct ; 
his face, which was not wholly pleasing in re- 
pose, was superbly handsome when animated 
in conversation ; its inscrutable reticence which 
baffled the keenest observation when he was 
silent, all disappeared and melted in the glow 
of cordial good-fellowship which lit up every 
feature when he talked. I grew very proud 
of my brother as I watched him in his new 
sphere and surroundings ; and I also enjoyed 
most keenly seeing Ellen in a wider and more 
appreciative circle. I spent a large part of 
the first winter in their house, and shared all 
their social pleasures, and looked forward to 
ever increasing delight, as my nieces should 
grow old enough to enter into society. 

Early in the spring I went to England and 
passed the entire summer with relatives ; I 
heard from my sister every week ; her letters 
were always cheerful and natural^ and I re- 
turned to her in the autumn, full of anticipa- 
tions of another gay and pleasant winter. 



They met me at the wharf in New York, 
and I remembered afterwards, though in the 
excitement of the moment I gave it no second 
thought, that when John Gray's eyes first met 
mine, there was in them a singular and inde- 
finable expression, which roused in me an 
instantaneous consciousness of distrust and 
antagonism. He had never liked me thorough- 
ly. He had always had an undercurrent of 
fear of me. He knew I thought him weak : 
he felt that I had never put full confidence in 
him. That I really and truly loved him was 
small offset for these facts. Would it not be 
so to all of us ? 

This part of my story is best told in few 
words. I had not been at home one week 
before I found that rumor had been for some 
months coupling John Gray's name with the 
name of Mrs. Emma Long, a widow who had 

but just returned to , after twelve years 

of married life in Cuba. John had known 
her in her girlhood, but there had never 
been any intimacy or even friendship between 
them. My sister, however, had known her 
well, had corresponded with her during all her 
life at the South, and had invited her to her 

house immediately upon her return to . 

Emma Long was a singularly fascinating wo- 
man. Plain and sharp and self-asserting at 
twenty-two, she had become magnetic and 
winning, full of tact, and almost beautiful, at 
thirty-five. We see such surprising develop- 
ments continually : it seems as if nature did 
her best to give every woman one period of 
triumph and conquest ; perhaps only they 
know its full sweetness to whom it comes 
late. In early youth it is accepted unthink- 
ingly, as is the sunshine, — enjoyed without 
deliberation or full realization, and only 
weighed at its fullness when it is over. But a 
woman who begins at thirty to feel for the 
first time what it is to have real power over 
men, must be more or less than woman not 
to find the knowledge and the consciousness 
dangerously sweet. 

I never knew — I do not know to-day, 
whether Emma Long could be justly called a 
coquette. That she keenly enjoyed the admi- 
ration of men, there was no doubt. Whether 
she ever were conscious of even a possible 
harm to them from their relation with her, 
there was always doubt, even in the minds of 
her bitterest enemies. I myself have never 
doubted that in the affair between her and 
John Gray she was the one who suffered 
most ; she was the one who had a true, deep 
sentiment, and not only never meant a wrong, 
but would have shrunk, for his sake, if not for 
her own, from the dangers which she did not 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



469 



foresee, but which were inevitable in their in- 
timacy. I think that her whole life afterward 
proved this. I think that even my sister be- 
lieved it. 

Mrs. Long had spent six weeks in my sis- 
ter's house, and had then established herself 
in a very beautiful furnished house on the 
same street. Almost every day Mrs. Long's 
carriage was at my sister's door, to take my 
sister or the children to drive. Almost every 
evening Mrs. Long came with the easy famil- 
iarity of an habituated guest in the house, to 
sit in my sister's parlor, or sent with the easy 
familiarity of an old friend for my sister and 
her husband to come to her, or to go with her 
to the theater or to the opera. 

What could be more natural ? — what could 
be more delightful, had the relation been one 
which centered around my sister instead of 
around my sister's husband ? What could be 
done, what offence could be taken, what ob- 
stacle interposed, so long as the relation ap- 
peared to be one which included the whole 
family ? 

Yet no human being could see John Gray 
five minutes in Emma Long's presence with- 
out observing that his eyes, his words, his 
consciousness were hers. And no one could 
observe her in his presence without seeing 
that she was kindled, stimulated, positively lit 
by it, as she was in no other companionship. 

All this the city had been seeing and gos- 
siping over for four months. All this, with a 
weary detail, was poured into my ears by kind 
friends. 

My sister said no word. For the first time 
in my life there was a barrier between us I 
dared not pass. Her every allusion to Mrs. 
Long was in the kindest and most unembar- 
rassed manner. She fell heartily and gracious- 
ly into every plan which brought them to geth- 
er : she not only did this, she also fully re- 
ciprocated all entertainments and invitations ; 
it was as often by Ellen's arrangement as by 
Mrs. Long's that an evening or a day was 
spent by the two families together. Her 
manner to Mrs. Long was absolutely unalter- 
ed. Her manner to John was absolutely 
unaltered. When during an entire evening he 
sat almost motionless and often quite speech- 
less, listening to Mrs. Long's conversation 
with others, Ellen's face never changed. She 
could not have seemed more unconscious if 
she had been blind. There were many bonds 
of sympathy between John Gray and Emma 
Long, which had never existed between him 
and his wife. They were both passionately 
fond of art, and had culture in that direction. 
Ellen's taste was undeveloped, and her in- 



stinctive likings those of a child. But she 
listened with apparent satisfaction and pleas- 
ure to long hours of converse between them, 
about "statues, pictures, principles of art, etc., 
of which she was as unable to speak as one 
of her own babies would have been. Mrs. 
Long also was a woman who understood 
affairs ; and one of her great charms to men 
of mind was the clear, logical, and yet pic- 
turesque and piquant way in which she talked 
of men and events. Ellen listened and 
laughed as heartily as any member of the 
circle at her repartee, her brilliant character- 
ization, her off-hand description. 

To John Gray all this was a new revelation. 
He had never known this sort of woman. 
That a woman could be clever as men are 
clever, and also be graceful, adorned, and ten- 
der with womanliness, he had not supposed. 

Ah, poor Emma Long ! not all my loyalty 
to my sister ever quite stifled in my heart the 
question whether there were not in Mrs. 
Long's nature something which John Gray 
really needed — something which Ellen, affec- 
tionate, wise, upright, womanly woman as she 
was, could never give to any man. 

The winter wore on. Idle and malicious 
tongues grew busier and busier. Nothing 
except the constant presence of my sister 
wherever Mrs. Long and her husband were 
seen together, prevented the scandal from 
taking the most offensive shape. But Ellen 
was so wise, so unremitting in her wisdom, 
that not even the most malignant gossip- 
monger could point to anything which looked 
like a clandestine intercourse between the two. 

In fact, they met so constantly either in 
Mrs. Long's house or my sister's, that there 
was small opportunity for them to meet else- 
where. I alone knew that on many occasions 
when Mrs. Long was spending the evening 
at our house, Ellen availed herself of one 
excuse and another to leave them alone for a 
great part of the time. But she did this so 
naturally, that is, with such perfect art, that 
not until long afterward did I know that it 
had been intentional. 

This was one great reason of my silence 
during all these months. In her apparent 
ignorance and unsuspiciousness of the whole 
thing, she seemed so gay, so happy, so sweet 
and loving, how could I give her a pain ? 
And if she did not see it now, she might 
never see it. It could never surely become 
any more apparent. No man could give, so 
far as simple manner was concerned, more 
unmistakable proofs of being absorbed in 
passionate love for a woman, than John Gray 
gave in Emma Long's presence. I began to 



47o 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



do Ellen injustice in my thoughts. I said, 
"After all, she has not much heart; no wo- 
man who loved a man passionately could look 
on unmoved and see him so absorbed in an- 
other." 

How little I knew ! Towards spring Ellen 
suddenly began to look very ill. She lost 
color and strength, and a slight cough which 
she had had all winter became very severe. 
Her husband was alarmed. We all were dis- 
tressed. Our old family physician, Dr. Willis, 
changed color when he felt Ellen's pulse, and 
said involuntarily : 

" My dear child, how long have you had 
such fever as this ? " 

Ellen changed color too, under his steady 
look, and replied : 

" I think, doctor, I have had a little fever 
for some time. I have not felt really well 
since the autumn, and I have been meaning 
for some time to have a long consultation 
with you. But we will not have it now," she 
added playfully, " I have a great deal to tell 
you which these good people are not to hear. 
We will talk it over some other time," and 
she looked at him so meaningly that he under- 
stood that the subject must be dropped. 

That night she told me that she wished me 
to propose to John to go over with me and 
spend the evening at Mrs. Long's ; that she 
had sent for Dr. Willis, and she wished to 
have a long talk with him without John's 
knowing it. 

" Dear," said I hastily, " I will not go to 
Mrs. Long's with John. I hate Mrs. Long." 

" Why, Sally, what do you mean ! I never 
heard you so unjust. Emma is one of the 
very sweetest women I ever saw in my life. 
How can you say such a thing ! Everybody 
loves and admires her. Don't go if you feel 
so. I never dreamed that you disliked her. 
But I thought John would be less likely to 
suspect me of any desire to have him away, 
if you proposed going there ; and I must 
have him out of the house. I cannot talk 
with the doctor if he is under the roof." She 
said these last words with an excited emphasis 
so unlike her usual manner, that it frightened 
me. But I thought only of her physical state ; 
I feared that she suspected the existence of 
some terrible disease. 

I went with John to Mrs. Long's, almost 
immediately after tea. He accepted the pro- 
posal with unconcealed delight ; and I won- 
dered if Ellen observed the very nonchalant 
way in which he replied when she said she did 
not feel well enough to go. He already liked 
better to see Mrs. Long without his wife's 
presence, cordial and unembarrassed as her 



manner always was. His secret conscious- 
ness was always disturbed by it. 

When we reached Mrs. Long's house, we 
learned that she had gone out to dinner. 
John's face became black with the sudden 
disappointment, and quite forgetting himself, 
he exclaimed : " Why, what does that mean ? 
She did not tell me she was going." 

The servant stared, but made no reply. I 
was confused and indignant • but John went 
on : " We will come in and wait. I am sure 
it is some very informal dinner, and Mrs. 
Long will soon be at home." 

I made no remonstrance, knowing that it 
might annoy and disturb Ellen to have us re- 
turn. John threw himself into a chair in front 
of the fire, and looked moodily into the coals, 
making no attempt at conversation. I took 
up a book. Very soon John rose, sauntered 
abstractedly about the room, took up Mrs. 
Long's work-basket, and examined every arti- 
cle in it, and at last sat down before her little 
writing-desk, which stood open. Presently I 
saw that he was writing. More than an hour 
passed. I pretended to read ; but I watched 
my brother-in-law's face. I could not mistake 
its language. Suddenly there came a low cry 
of delight from the door, " Why, John ! " 

Mrs. Long had entered the house by a side- 
door, and having met no servant before reach- 
ing the drawing-room, was unprepared for find- 
ing any one there. From the door she could 
see John, but could not see me, except in the 
long mirror, to which she did not raise her 
eyes, but in which I saw her swift movement, 
her outstretched hands, her look of unspeak- 
able gladness. In less than a second she had 
seen me, and with no perceptible change of 
manner had come rapidly towards me, hold- 
ing out her left hand familiarly to him, as she 
passed him. Emma Long was not a hypo- 
crite, but she had an almost superhuman 
power of acting. It was all lost upon me, 
however, on that occasion. I observed the 
quick motion with which John thrust, into a 
compartment of the desk, the sheet on which 
he had been writing ; I observed the clasp of 
their hands as she glided by him ; I observed 
her face ; I observed his ; and I knew as I 
had never fully known before how intensely 
they loved each other. 

My resolution was taken. Cost what it 
might, come what might, I would speak fully 
and frankly to my sister the next day. I 
would not longer stand by and see this thing 
go on. At that moment I hated both John 
Gray and Emma Long. No possible pain to 
Ellen seemed to me to weigh for a moment 
against my impulse to part them. 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



47i 



I could not talk. I availed myself of the 
freedom warranted by the intimacy between 
the families, and continued to seem absorbed 
in my book. But I lost no word, no look, 
which passed between the two who sat op- 
posite me. I never saw Emma Long look so 
nearly beautiful as she did that night. She 
wore a black velvet dress, with fine white lace 
ruffles at the throat and wrists. Her hair was 
fair, and her complexion of that soft pale tint, 
with a slight undertone of brown in it, which 
is at once fair and warm, and which can kin- 
dle in moments of excitement into a bril- 
liance far outshining any brunette skin. She 
talked rapidly with much gesture. She was 
giving John an account of the stupidity of the 
people with whom she had been dining. Her 
imitative faculty amounted almost to genius. 
No smallest peculiarity of manner or speech 
ever escaped her, and she could become a 
dozen different persons in a minute. John 
laughed as he listened, but not so heartily as 
he was wont to laugh at her humorous sayings. 
He had been too deeply stirred in the long in- 
terval of solitude before she returned. His 
cheeks were flushed and his voice unsteady. 
She soon felt the effect of his manner, and her 
gayety died away ; before long they were sit- 
ting in silence, each looking at the fire. I 
knew I ought to make the proposition to go 
home, but 1 seemed under a spell ; I was con- 
scious of a morbid desire to watch and wait. 
At length Mrs. Long rose, saying : 

"If it will not disturb Sally's reading, I 
will play for you a lovely little thing I learned 
yesterday." 

" Oh no," said I. " But we must go as 
soon as I finish this chapter." 

She passed into the music-room and looked 
back for John to follow her ; but he threw 
himself at full length on the sofa, and said : 

" No, I will listen here." 

My quickened instinct saw that he dared 
not go ; also that he had laid his cheek in an 
abandonment of ecstasy on the arm of the 
sofa on which her hand had been resting. 
Even in that moment I had a sharp pang of 
pity for him, and the same old misgiving of 
question, whether my good and sweet and 
almost faultless Ellen could be loved just in 
the same way in which Emma Long would 
be! 

As soon as she had finished the nocturne, — 
a sad, low sweet strain, she came back to the 
parlor. Not even for the pleasure of giving 
John the delight of the music he loved would 
she stay where she could not see his face. 

But I had already put down my book, and 
was ready to go. Our good-nights were short 



and more formal than usual. All three were 
conscious of an undefined constraint in the 
air. Mrs. Long glanced up uneasily in John's 
face as we left the room. Her eyes were 
unutterably tender and childlike when a look 
of grieved perplexity shadowed them. Again 
my heart ached for her and for him. This 
was no idle caprice, no mere entanglement 
of senses between two unemployed and un- 
principled hearts. It was a subtle harmony, 
organic, spiritual, intellectual, between two 
susceptible and intense natures. The bond 
was as natural and inevitable as any other 
fact of nature. And in this very fact lay the 
terrible danger. 

We walked home in silence. A few steps 
from our house we met Dr. Willis walking 
very rapidly. He did not recognize us at 
first. When he did, he half stopped as if 
about to speak, then suddenly changed his 
mind, and merely bowing, passed on. A 
bright light was burning in Ellen's room. 

" Why, Ellen has not gone to bed ! " ex- 
claimed John. 

" Perhaps some one called," said I, guiltily. 

" Oh, I dare say," replied he; "perhaps 
the doctor has been there. But it is half-past 
twelve," added he, pulling out his watch as we 
entered the hall. " He could not have staid 
until this time." 

I went to my own room immediately. In 
a few moments I heard John come up, say a 
few words to Ellen, and then go down stairs, 
calling back, as he left her room : 

" Don't keep awake for me, wifie, I have a 
huge batch of letters to answer. I shall not 
get through before three o'clock." 

I crept noiselessly to Ellen's room. It was 
dark. She had extinguished the gas as soon 
as she had heard us enter the house ! I knew 
by the first sound of her voice that she had 
been weeping violently and long. I said : 

" Ellen, I must come in and have a talk 
with you." 

" Not to-night, dear. To-morrow I will 
talk over everything. All is settled. Good- 
night. Don't urge me to-night, Sally. I can't 
bear any more." 

It is strange — it is marvelous what power 
there is in words to mean more than words. 
I knew as soon as Ellen had said, " Not to- 
night, dear," that she divined all I wanted to 
say, that she knew all I knew, and that the 
final moment, the crisis, had come. Whatever 
she might have to tell me in the morning, I 
should not be surprised. I did not sleep. 
All night I tossed wearily, trying to conjec- 
ture what Ellen would do, trying to imagine 
what I should do in her place. 



472 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



At breakfast Ellen seemed better than she 
had seemed for weeks. Her eyes were bright 
and her cheeks pink ; but there was an ineffa- 
ble, almost solemn tenderness in her manner 
to John, which was pathetic. Again the sus- 
picion crossed my mind that she knew that 
she must die. He too was disturbed by it ; 
he looked at her constantly with a lingering 
gaze as if trying to read her face ; and when 
he bade us good-by to go to the office, he 
kissed her over and over as I hacl not seen 
him kiss her for months. The tears came into 
her eyes, and she threw both arms around his 
neck for a second, — a very rare thing for her 
to do in the presence of others. 

" Why, wine," he said, "you musn't make 
it too hard for a fellow to get off ! — Doesn't 
she look well this morning, Sally?" turning 
to me. " I was thinking last night that I must 
take her to the mountains as soon as it was 
warm enough. But such cheeks as these 
don't need it." And he took her face in his 
two hands with a caress full of tenderness, 
and sprang down the steps. 

Just at this moment Mrs. Long's carriage 
came driving swiftly around the corner, and 
the driver stopped suddenly at sight of John. 

" Oh, Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray ! " called Emma, 
" I was just coming to take Ellen and the 
children for a turn, and we can leave you at 
the office on our way." 

" Thank you," said John, " but there are 
several persons I must see before going to 
the office, and it would detain you too long. 
I am already much too late," and without a 
second look he hurried on. 

I saw a slight color rise in Mrs. Long's 
cheek, but no observer less jealous than I 
would have detected it ; and there was not a 
shade less warmth than usual in her manner 
to Ellen. 

Ellen told her that she could not go herself, 
but she would be very glad to have some of the 
children go ; and then she stood for some 
moments, leaning on the carriage-door and 
talking most animatedly. I looked from one 
woman to the other. Ellen at that moment 
was far more beautiful than Mrs. Long. The 
strong, serene, upright look which was her 
most distinguishing and characteristic expres- 
sion, actually shone on her face. I wished 
that John Gray had stopped to see the two 
faces side by side. Emma Long might be 
the woman to stir and thrill and entrance the 
soul; to give stimulus to the intellectual 
nature; to rouse passionate tenderness of 
emotion ; but Ellen was the woman on whose 
steadfastness he could rest, — in the light of 
whose sweet integrity and transparent truth- 



fulness he was a far safer, and would be a far 
stronger man than with any other woman in 
the world. 

As the carriage drove away with all four of 
the little girls laughing and shouting and cling- 
ing around Mrs. Long, a strange pang seized 
me. I looked at Ellen. She stood watching 
them with a smile which had something 
heavenly in it. Turning suddenly to me, she 
said : " Sally, if I were dying, it would make 
me very happy to know that Emma Long 
would be the mother of my children." 

I was about to reply with a passionate 
ejaculation, but she interrupted me. 

" Hush, dear, hush. I am not going to die, — 
I have no fear of any such thing. Come to 
my room now, and I will tell you all." 

She locked the door, stood for a moment 
looking at me very earnestly, then folded me in 
her arms and kissed me many times ; then she 
made me sit in a large arm-chair, and drawing 
up a low foot-stool, sat down at my feet, rested 
both arms on my lap, and began to speak. I 
shall try to tell in her own words what she 
said. 

"Sally, I w r ant to tell you in the beginning 
how I thank you for your silence. All winter 
I have known that you were seeing all I saw, 
feeling all I felt, and keeping silent for my 
sake. I never can tell you how much I thank 
you; it was the one thing which supported 
me. It was an unspeakable comfort to know 
that you sympathized with me at every point ; 
but to have had the sympathy expressed even 
by a look would have made it impossible for 
me to bear up. As long as I live, darling, I 
shall be grateful to you. And, moreover, it 
makes it possible for me to trust you unre- 
servedly now. I had always done you some 
injustice, Sally. I did not think you had so 
much self-control." 

Here she hesitated an instant. It was not 
easy for her to mention John's name ; but it 
was only for a second that she hesitated. 
With an impetuous eagerness unlike herself, 
she went on. 

"Sally, you must not blame John. He has 
struggled as constantly and nobly as a man 
ever struggled. Neither must you blame 
Emma. They have neither of them done 
wrong. I have watched them both hour 
by hour. I know my husband's nature so 
thoroughly that I know his very thoughts 
almost as soon as he knows them himself. 
I know his emotions before he knows them 
himself. I saw the first moment in which his 
eyes rested on Emma's face as they used to 
rest on mine. From that day to this I have 
known every phase, every step, every change 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND 



473 



of his feeling towards her; and I tell you, 
Sally, that I pity John from the bottom of my 
heart. I understand it all far better than you 
can, far better than he does. He loves her 
at once far more and far less than you believe, 
and he loves me far, far more than you believe ! 
You will say, in the absolute idealization of 
your inexperienced heart, that it is impossible 
for a man to love two women at once. I 
know that it is not, and I wish I could make 
you believe it, for without believing it you 
cannot be just to John. He loves me to-day, 
in spite of all this, with a sort of clinging 
tenderness born of this very struggle. He 
would far rather love me with all his nature 
if he could, but just now he cannot. I see 
very clearly where Emma gives him what he 
needs, and has never had in me. I have 
learned many things from Emma Long this 
winter. I can never be like her. But I 
need not have been so unlike her as I was. 
She has armed me with weapons when she 
least suspected it. But she is not after all, 
on the whole, so nearly what John needs as I 
am. If I really believed that he would be a 
better man, or even a happier one with her 
as his wife, I should have but one desire, and 
that would be to die. But I know that it is 
not so. It is in my power to do for him, and 
to be to him, what she never could. I do 
not wonder that you look pityingly and in- 
credulously. You will see. But in order to 
do this, I must leave him." 

I sprang to my feet. "Leave him! Are 
you mad?" 

"No, dear, not at all; very sane and very 
determined. I have been for six months 
coming to this resolve. I began to think of 
it in a very few hours after I first saw him 
look at Emma as if he loved her. I have 
thought of it day and night since, and I know 
I am right. If I stay, I shall lose his love. 
If I go, I shall keep it, regain it, compel it." 
She spoke here more hurriedly. "I have 
borne now all I can bear without betraying 
my pain to him. I am jealous of Emma. It 
almost kills me to see him look at her, speak 
to her." 

"My poor, poor darling!" I exclaimed; 
" and I have been thinking you did not feel 
it!" 

She smiled sadly, and tossed back the sleeve 
of her wrapper so as to show her arm to the 
shoulder. I started. It was almost emaciated. 
I had again and again in the course of the 
winter asked her why she did not wear her 
usual style of evening dress, and she had re- 
plied that it was on account of her cough. 

" It is well that my face does not show loss 



of flesh as quickly as the rest of my body 
does," she said quietly. " I have lost thirty- 
five pounds of flesh in four months, and 
nobody has observed it! Yes, dear," she 
went on, " I have felt it. More than that, I 
have felt it increasingly every hour, and I can 
bear no more. Up to this time I have never 
by look or tone shown to John that I knew it. 
He wonders every hour what it means that I 
do not. I have never by so much as the 
slightest act watched him. I have seen notes 
in Emma's handwriting lying on his desk, and 
I have left th,e house lest I might be tempted 
to read them ! I know that he has as yet 
done no clandestine thing, but at any moment 
I should have led them both into it by show- 
ing one symptom of jealousy. And I should 
have roused in his heart a feeling of irritation 
and impatience with me, which "would have 
done in one hour more to intensify his love 
for her, and to change its nature from a pure, 
involuntary sentiment into an acknowledged 
and guilty one, than years and years of free 
intercourse could do. But I have reached 
the limit of my physical endurance. My 
nerves are giving away. I am really very ill, 
but nothing is out of order in my body aside 
from the effects of this anguish. A month 
more of this would make me a hopelessly 
broken-down woman. A month's absence 
from the sicrht of it will almost make me 

o 

well." 

I could not refrain from interrupting her. 

" Ellen, you are mad ! you are mad ! You 
mean to go away,and leave him to see her con- 
stantly alone, unrestrained by your presence ? 
It has almost killed you to see it. How can 
you bear imagining it, knowing it?" 

" Better than I can bear seeing it, far better. 
Because I have still undiminished confidence 
in the real lastingness of the bond between 
John and me. Emma Long would have been 
no doubt a good, a very good wife for him. 
But I am his wife, and I am the mother of 
his children, and just so surely as right is right, 
and wrong is wrong, he will return to me and 
to them. All wrong things are like diseases, 
self-limited. It is wrong for a man to love 
any woman better than he loves his wife ; I 
don't deny that, dear," she said, half smiling 
through her tears at my indignant face ; "but 
a man may seem to do it when he is really 
very far from it. He may really do it for days, 
for months — for years, perhaps ; but if he be 
a true man, and his wife a true wife, he will 
return. John is a true husband and a still 
truer father. John is mine, and I am his ; 
and I shall live to remind you of all these 
things, Sally, after time has proved them true." 



474 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



I was almost dumb with surprise. I was 
astounded. To me it seemed that her plan 
was simply suicidal. I told her in the strongest 
words I could use of the scene of the night 
before. 

" I could tell you of still more trying scenes 
than that, Sally. I know far more than you. 
But if I knew ten times as much, I should still 
believe that my plan is the only one. Of 
course I may fail. It is all in God's hands. 
We none of us know how much discipline we 
need. But I know one thing : if I do not 
regain John in this way, I cannot in any. If 
I stay I shall annoy, vex, disturb, torture 
"him ! Once the barriers of my silence and 
concealment are broken down, I shall do just 
what all other jealous women have done since 
the world began. There are no torments on 
earth like those which a jealous woman in- 
flicts, except those which she bears ! I will 
die sooner than inflict them on John. Even 
if the result proves me mistaken, I shall never 
regret my course, for I know that the worst 
is certain if I remain. But I have absolute 
faith," — and her face was transfigured with it 
as she spoke, "John is mine. If I could 
stay by his side, through it all and preserve 
the same relation with him which I have all 
winter, all would sooner or later be well. I 
wish I were strong enough. My heart is, 
but my body is not, and I must go." 

When she told me the details of her plan, 
I was more astounded than ever. She had 
taken Dr. Willis into her full confidence. 
(He had been to us father and physician both 
ever since our father's death.) He entirely 
approved of her course. He was to say — 
which indeed he could conscientiously do — 
that her health imperatively required an entire 
change of climate, and that he had advised 
her to spend at least one year abroad. It 
had always been one of John's and Ellen's 
air-castles to take all the children to England 
and to Germany for some years of study. 
She proposed to take the youngest four, leav- 
ing the eldest girl, who was her father's 
especial pet and companion, to stay with him. 
A maiden aunt of ours was to come and keep 
the house, and 1 was to stay with the family. 
This was the hardest of all. 

"Ellen, I cannot! Do not — oh, do not 
trust me. I shall never have strength. I 
shall betray all some day and ruin all your 
hopes." 

"You cannot, you dare not, Sally, when I 
tell you that my life's whole happiness lies in 
your simple silence. John is unobservant 
and also unsuspicious. He has never had in- 
timate relation with you. You will have no 



difficulty. But you must be here, — because, 
dear, there is another reason," and here her 
voice grew very unsteady, and tears ran down 
her cheeks. 

" In spite of all my faith, I do not disguise 
from myself the possibility of the worst. I 
cannot believe my husband would ever do a 
dishonorable thing. I do not believe that 
Emma Long would. And yet, when I re- 
member what ruin has overtaken many men 
and women whom we believed upright, I dare 
not be wholly sure. And I must know that 
some one is here who would see and under- 
stand if a time were approaching at which it 
would be needful for me to make one last 
effort with and for my husband face to face 
with him. Unless that comes, I do not wish 
you to allude to the subject in your letters. 
I think I know just how all things will go. I 
believe that in one year, or less, all will be 
well. But if the worst is to come, you with 
your instincts will foresee it, and I must be 
told. 1 should return then at once. I should 
have power, even at the last moment, to save 
John from disgrace. But I should lose his 
love irrecoverably ; it is to save that that I 
go." 

I could say but few words. I was lifted up 
and borne out of myself, as it were, by my 
sister's exaltation of atmosphere. She seemed 
more like some angel-wife than like a mortal 
woman. Before I left her room at noon, I 
believed almost as fully as she did in the 
wisdom and the success of her plan. 

There was no time to be lost. Every day 
between the announcement of her purpose 
and the carrying it out, would be a fearful 
strain on 'Ellen's nerves. Dr. Willis had a 
long talk with John in his office while Ellen 
was talking with me. John came home to 
dinner looking like a man who had received 
a mortal blow. Dr. Willis had purposely 
given him to understand that Ellen's life was 
in great danger. So it was, but not from the 
cough ! At first John's vehement purpose 
was to go with them. But she was prepared 
for this. His business and official relations 
were such that it was- next to impossible for 
him to do it, and would at best involve a 
tremendous pecuniary sacrifice. She over- 
ruled and remonstrated, and was so firm in 
her objections to every suggestion of his of 
accompanying or following her, that finally, in 
spite of all his anxiety, John seemed almost 
piqued at her preference for going alone. In 
every conversation on the subject I saw more 
and more clearly that Ellen was right. He 
did love her — love her warmly, devotedly. 

Two weeks from the day of my conversa- 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



475 



tion with her they sailed for Liverpool. The 
summer was to be spent in England, and the 
winter in Nice or Mentone. 

Alice, the eldest daughter, a loving, sun- 
shiny girl of twelve, was installed in her mo- 
ther's room. This was Ellen's especial wish. 
She knew that in this way John would be 
drawn to the room constantly. All her own 
little belongings were given to Alice. 

" Only think, Auntie," said she, " mamma 
has given me, all for my own, her lovely toi- 
lette set, and all the Bohemian* glass on the 
bureau, and her ivory brushes ! She says 
when she comes home she shall refurnish her 
room and papa's too ! " 

Oh, my wise Ellen. Could Emma Long 
have done more subtly ! 

Early on the first evening after John return- 
ed from New York, having seen them off, I 
missed him. I said bitterly to myself, " At 
Mrs. Long's, I suppose," and went up-stairs 
to find Alice. As I drew near her room I 
heard his voice, reading aloud. I went in. 
He and Alice were lying together on a broad 
chintz-covered lounge, as I had so often seen 
him and Ellen. 

" Oh, Auntie, come here," said Alice, "hear 
mamma's letter to me ! She gave it to papa 
in New York. She says it is like the sealed 
orders they give to captains sometimes, not 
to be opened till they are out at sea. It is 
all about how I am to fill her place to papa. 
And there are ever so many little notes in- 
side, more orders, which even papa himself is 
not to see ! only I suppose he'll recognize the 
things when I do them ! " 

At that moment, as I watched John Gray's 
face, with Alice's nestled close, and his arms 
clasped tight around her, while they had El- 
len's letter, a great load rolled off my heart. 
I went through many dark days afterward, but 
I never could quite despair when I remem- 
bered the fatherhood and the husbandhood 
which were in his eyes and his voice that night. 

The story of the next twelve months could 
be told in few words, so far as its external in- 
cidents are concerned. It could not be told 
in a thousand volumes, if I attempted to re- 
produce the subtle undercurrents of John 
Gray's life and mine. Each of us was living 
a double life : he more or less unconsciously ; 
I with such sharpened senses, such over- 
wrought emotions, that I only wonder that 
my health did not give way. I endured vica- 
riously aH the suspense and torment of the 
deepest jealousy, with a sense of more than 
vicarious responsibility added, which was al- 
most more than human nature could bear. 
Ellen little knew how heavy would be the 



burden she laid upon me. Her most express 
and explicit direction was that the familiar in- 
timacy between our family and Mrs. Long's 
was to be preserved unaltered. This it would 
have been impossible for me to do if Mrs. 
Long had not herself recognized the necessity 
of it, for her own full enjoyment of John's 
society. But it was a hard thing ; my aunt, 
the ostensible head of our house, was a 
quiet woman, who had nothing whatever to do 
with society, and who felt in the outset a great 
shrinking from the brilliant Mrs. Long. I had 
never been on intimate terms with her, so 
that John and Alice were really the only mem- 
bers of the household who could keep up pre- 
cisely the old relation. And so it gradually 
came about that in most of our meetings un- 
der each other's roofs, strangers were asked 
to fill up the vacant places, and in spite of all 
Emma Long's efforts and mine, there was a 
change in the atmosphere of our intercourse. 
But there was enough of intimacy to produce 
the effect for which Ellen was most anxious, 
i.e., to extend the shelter of our recognition to 
the friendship between John and Emma, and 
to remove from them both all temptation to 
anything clandestine or secret. They still 
saw each other almost daily ; they still shared 
most of each other's interests and pleasures ; 
they still showed most undisguised delight in 
each other's presence. Again and again I 
went with them to the opera, to the theater, 
and sat through the long hours, watching, 
with a pain which seemed to me hardly less 
than Ellen's would have been, their constant 
sympathy with each other in every point of 
enjoyment, their constant forgetfulness of 
every one else. 

But there was, all this time, another side 
to John Gray's life, which I saw, and Emma 
Long did not. By every steamer came pack- 
ages of the most marvelous letters from El- 
len : letters to us all ; but for John, a diary 
of every hour of her life. Each night she 
spent two hours in writing out the record of 
the day. I have never seen letters which so 
reproduced the atmosphere of the day, the 
scene, the heart. They were brilliant and 
effective in narrative to a degree that utterly 
astonished me ; but they were also ineffably 
tender and loving, and so subjective in their 
every word, that it was like seeing Ellen face 
to face to read them. At first John did not 
show them even to me ; but soon he began 
to say, "These are too rare to be kept to 
myself; I must just read you this account ; " 
or, " Here is a page I must read," until it at 
last became his habit to read them aloud in 
the evenings to the family, and even to more 



476 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



intimate friends who chanced to be with us. 
He grew proud beyond expression of Ellen's 
talent for writing ; and well he might No 
one who listened to them but exclaimed, 
" There never were such letters before ! " I 
think there never were. And I alone knew 
the secret of them. 

But these long, brilliant letters were not all. 
In every mail came also packages for Alice — 
secret, mysterious things, which nobody could 
see, but which proved to be sometimes small 
notes, to be given to papa at unexpected 
times and places ; sometimes little fancy arti- 
cles, as a pen-wiper, or a cigar-case, half 
worked by Ellen, to be finished by Alice, and 
given to papa on some especial day, the signifi- 
cance of which " only mamma knows ; " some- 
times a pressed flower, which was to be put 
by papa's plate at breakfast, or put in papa's 
button-hole as he went out in the morning. 
Oh, I was more and more lost in astonish- 
ment at the subtle and boundless art of love 
which could so contrive to reach across an 
ocean, and surround a man's daily life with 
its expression. There were also in every 
package letters to John from all the children : 
even the baby's little hand was guided to write 
by every mail, " Dear papa, I love you just 
as much as all the rest do ! " or, " Dear papa, 
I want you to toss me up ! " More than once 
I saw tears roll down John's face in spite of 
him, as he slowly deciphered their illegible 
little scrawls. The older children's notes 
were as vivid and loving as their mother's. 
It was evident that they were having a season 
of royal delight in their journey, but also evi- 
dent that their thoughts and their longings 
were constantly reverting to papa. How 
much Ellen really indited of these apparently 
spontaneous letters I do not know ; but no 
doubt their atmosphere was in part created 
by her. They showed, even more than did 
her own letters, that papa was still the center 
of their life. No sight was seen without the 
wish — " Oh, if papa were here ! " and even 
little Mary, aged five, was making a collec- 
tion of pressed leaves for papa, from all the 
places they visited ! Louise had already 
great talent for drawing, and in almost every 
letter came two or three childish but spirited 
little pictures, all labeled " Drawn for papa ! " 
"The true picture of our courier in a rage, 
for papa to see." "The washerwoman's 
dog, for papa," etc., etc. Again and again 
I sat by, almost trembling with delight, and 
saw John spend an entire evening in looking 
over these little missives and reading Ellen's 
letter^ Then again I sat alone and anxious 
through an entire evening, when I knew he 



was with Emma Long. But even after such 
an evening, he never failed to sit down and 
write long pages in his journal-letter to Ellen 
— a practice which he began of his own ac- 
cord, after receiving the first journal-letter 
from her. 

" Ha ! little Alice," he said, " we'll keep a 
journal too, for mamma, won't we ! She 
shall not out-do us that way." And so, be- 
tween Alice's letters and his, the whole record 
of our family life went every week to Ellen ; 
and I do not believe, so utterly unaware was 
John Gray of any pain in Ellen's heart about 
Emma Long, I do not believe that he' ever 
in a single instance omitted to mention when 
he had been with her, where, and how long. 

Emma Long wrote too, and Ellen wrote 
to her occasional affectionate notes ; but re- 
ferring her always to John's diary-letters for 
the details of interest. I used to study Mrs. 
Long's face while these letters were being 
read to her. John's animated delight, his en- 
thusiastic pride, must, it seemed to me, have 
been bitter to her. But I never saw even a 
shade of such a feeling in her face. There 
was nothing base or petty in Emma Long's 
nature, and, strange as it may seem, she did 
love Ellen. Only once did I ever see a trace 
of pique or resentment in her manner to John, 
and then I could not wonder at it. A large 
package had come from Ellen, just after tea 
one night, and we were all gathered in the 
library, reading our letters and looking at the 
photographs — (she always sent unmounted 
photographs of the place from which she 
wrote, and, if possible, of the house in which 
they were living, and the children often wrote 
above the windows, " Papa's and mamma's 
room," etc., etc.) — hour after hour passed. 
The hall clock had just struck ten, when the 
door-bell rang violently. " Good heavens ! " 
exclaimed John, springing up, "that must be 
Mrs. Long ; I totally forgot that I had prom- 
ised to go with her to Mrs. Willis's party. I 
said I would be there at nine ; tell her I am 
up-stairs dressing," and he was gone before 
the servant had had time to open the door. 
Mrs. Long came in, with a flushed face and 
anxious look. "Is Mr. Gray ill?" she said. 
" He promised to call for me at*nine, to go 
to Mrs. Willis's, and I have been afraid he 
might be ill." 

Before I could reply, the unconscious Alice 
exclaimed — 

" Oh, no ; papa isn't ill ; he is so sorry, but 
he forgot all about the party till he heard 
you ring the bell. We were so busy over 
mamma's letters." 

"John will be down in a moment," added 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



477 



I. "He ran up-stairs to dress as soon as 
you rang." 

For one second Emma Long's face was sad 
to see. Such astonishment, such pain, were in 
it, my heart ached for her. But then a look 
of angry resentment succeeded the .pain, and 
merely saying, " I am very sorry ; but I 
really cannot wait for him. It is now almost 
too late to go," she had left the room and 
closed the outer door before I could think 
of any words to say. 

I ran up to John's room, and told him 
through the closed door. He made no reply 
for a moment, and then said : — 

" No wonder she is vexed. It was unpar- 
donable rudeness. Tell Robert to run at 
once for a carriage for me." 

In a very few moments he came down 
dressed for the party, but with no shadow of 
disturbance on his face. He was still thinking 
of the letters. He took up his own, and 
putting it into an inside breast-pocket, said, 
as he kissed Alice, " Papa will take mamma's 
letter to the party, if he can't take mamma ! " 

I shed grateful tears that night before I 
went to sleep. How I longed to write to El- 
len of the incident ; but I had resolved not 
once to disregard her request that the whole 
subject be a sealed one. And I trusted that 
Alice would remember to tell it. Well I 
might ! At breakfast Alice said : — 

" Oh, papa, I told mamma that you carried 
her to the party in your breast-pocket ; that 
is, you carried her letter ! " 

I fancied that John's cheek flushed a little 
as he said : — 

"You might tell mamma that papa carries 
her everywhere in his breast-pocket, little 
girlie, and mamma would understand." 

I think from that day I never feared for 
Ellen's future. I fancied, too, that from that 
day there was a new light in John Gray's 
eyes. Perhaps it might have been only the 
new light in my own ; but I think when a 
man knows that he has once, for one hour, 
forgotten a woman whose presence has been 
dangerously dear to him, he must be aware 
of his dawning freedom. 

The winter was nearly over. Ellen had 
said nothing to us about returning. 

" Dr. Willis tells me that, from what Ellen 
writes to him of her health, he thinks it would 
be safer for her to remain abroad another 
year," said John to me one morning at break- 
fast. 

" Oh, she never will stay another year ! " 
exclaimed I. 

" Not unless I go out to stay with her " 
said John, very quietly. 



" Oh, John, could you ? " and, " Oh, papa, 
will you take me ? " exclaimed Alice and I 
in one breath. 

"Yes," and "yes," said John, laughing, 
" and Sally too, if she will go." 

He then proceeded to tell me that he had 
been all winter contemplating this ; that he 
believed they would never again have so good 
an opportunity to travel in Europe, and that 
Dr. Willis's hesitancy about Ellen's health 
had decided the question. He had been 
planning and deliberating as silently and un- 
suspectedly as Ellen had done the year be- 
fore. Never once had it crossed my mind 
that he desired it, or that it could be. But 
I found that he had for the last half of the 
year been arranging his affairs with a view to 
it, and had entered into new business con- 
nections which would make it not only easy, 
but profitable, for him to remain abroad two 
years. He urged me to go with them, but I 
refused. I felt that the father and the mother 
and the children ought to be absolutely alone 
in this blessed reunion, and I have never re- 
gretted my decision, although the old world 
is yet an unknown world to me. 

John Gray was a reticent and undemonstra- 
tive man, in spite of all the tenderness and 
passionateness in his nature. But when he 
Dade me good-by on the deck of the steamer, 
as he kissed me he whispered : — 

" Sally, I shall hold my very breath till I 
see Ellen. I never knew how I loved her be- 
fore." And the tears stood in his eyes. 

I never saw Emma Long after she knew 
that John was to go abroad to join Ellen. I 
found myself suddenly without courage to 
look in her face. The hurry of my prepara- 
tions for Alice was ample excuse for my not 
going to her house, and she did not come to 
ours. I knew that John spent several even- 
ings with her, and came home late, with a 
sad and serious face, and that was all. A 
week before he sailed she joined a large and 
gay party for San Francisco and the Yosemite. 
In all the newspaper accounts of the excur- 
sion, Mrs. Long was spoken of as the brilliant 
center of all festivities. I understood well 
that this was the first reaction of her proud 
and sensitive nature under an irremediable 
pain. She never returned to , but estab- 
lished herself in a Southern city, where she 
lived in great retirement for a year, doing 
good to all poor and suffering people, and 
spending the larger part of her fortune in 
charity. Early in the second year there was 
an epidemic of yellow-fever : Mrs. Long re- 
fused to leave the city, and went fearlessly as 
the physicians to visit and nurse the worst 



478 



HOW ONE WOMAN KEPT HER HUSBAND. 



cases. But after the epidemic had passed by 
she herself was taken ill, and died suddenly 
in a hospital ward, surrounded by the very 
patients whom she had nursed back to health. 
Nothing I could say in my own words 
would give so vivid an idea of the meeting 
between John Gray and his wife, as the first 
letter which I received from little Alice : — 

" Darling Auntie — 

"•It is too bad you did not come too. The 
voyage was horrid. Papa was so much sicker 
than I, that I had to take care of him all the 
time ; but my head ached so that I kept see- 
ing black spots if I stooped over to kiss papa ; 
but papa said I was just like another mamma. 

" Oh, Auntie, only think, there was a mis- 
take about the letters, and mamma never got 
the letter to tell her that we were coming ; and 
she was out on the balcony of the hotel when 
we got out of the carriage, and first she saw 
me ; and the lady who was with her said she 
turned first red and then so white the lady 
thought she was sick ; and then the next 
minute she saw papa, and she just fell right 
down among all the people, and looked as if 
she was dead ; and the very first thing poor 
papa and I saw, when we got up stairs, was 
mamma being carried by two men, and papa 
and I both thought she was dead ; and papa fell 
right down on his knees, and made the men 
put mamma down on the floor, and everybody 
talked out loud, and papa never spoke a word, 
but just looked at mamma, and nobody knew 
who papa was till I spoke, and I said, 

" ' That's my mamma, and papa and I have 
just come all the way from America,' — and 
then a gentleman told me to kiss mamma, 
and I did ; and then she opened her eyes ; and 
just as soon as she saw papa, she got a great 
deal whiter and her head fell back again, and 
I was so sure she was dying that I began to 
cry out loud, and I do think there were more 
than a hundred people all round us ; but 
Louise says there were only ten or twelve ; 
and then the same gentleman that told me to 
kiss mamma took hold of papa, and made 
him go away ; and they carried mamma into 
a room, and laid her on a bed, and said we 
must all go out ; but I wouldn't : I got right 
under the bed, and they didn't see me ; and it 
seemed to me a thousand years before any- 
body spoke ; and at last I heard mamma's 
voice, just as weak as baby's — but you know 
nobody could mistake mamma's voice ; and 
said she, ' Where is John — I saw John ; ' and 
then the gentleman said, — oh, I forgot to tell 
you he was a doctor — 

'"My clear madam, calm yourself — and 



then I cried right out again, and crept out be- 
tween his legs and almost knocked him down ; 
and said I, l Don't you try to calm my 
mamma ; it is papa — and me too, mamma ! ' 
and then mamma burst out crying ; and then 
the old gentleman ran out, and I guess papa 
was at the door, for he came right in ; and 
then he put his arms round mamma, and they 
didn't speak for so long, I thought I should 
die ; and all the people were listening, and 
going up and down in the halls outside, and I 
felt so frightened and ashamed, for fear peo- 
ple would think mamma wasn't glad to see 
us. But papa says that is always the way 
when people are more glad than they can 
bear ; and the surprise, too, was too much for 
anybody. But I said at the tea-table that I 
hoped I should never be so glad myself as 
long as I lived ; and then the old gentleman 
— he's a very nice old gentleman, and a great 
friend of mamma's, and wears gold spectacles 
— he said, 'My dear little girl, I hope you 
may be some day just as glad,' and then he 
looked at papa and mamma and smiled, — 
and mamma almost cried again ! Oh, alto- 
gether it was a horrid time ; the worst I ever 
had ; and so different from what papa and I 
thought it would be. 

"But it's all over now, and we're all so 
happy, we laugh so all the time, that papa 
says it is disgraceful ; that we shall have to go 
off and hide ourselves somewhere where peo- 
ple can't see us. 

"But, Auntie, you don't know how per- 
fectly splendid mamma is. She is the pret- 
tiest lady in the hotel, Louise says. She is 
ever so much fatter than she used to be. 
And the baby has grown so I did not know 
her, and her curls are more than half a yard 
long. Louise and Mary have got their 
hair cut short like boys, but their gowns are 
splendid ; they say it was such a pity you had 
any made for me at home. But oh, dear 
Auntie, don't think I shall not always like the 
gowns you made for" me. Charlie isn't here ; 
he's at some horrid school a great way off; I 
forget the name of the place. But we are all 
going there to live for the summer. Mamma 
said we should keep house in an 'apart- 
ment,' and I was perfectly horrified, and I 
said, ' Mamma, in one room ? ' and then 
Louise and Mary laughed till I was quite an- 
gry ; but mamma says that here an ' apart- 
ment ' means a set of a good many rooms, 
quite enough to live in. I don't believe you 
can have patience to read this long letter; 
but I haven't told you half; no, not one-half 
of half. Good-bye, you darling aunty. 

"Alice." 



CHRISTINE NILSSON AND HER MAESTRO. 



479 



" P. S. — I wish you could just see mamma. 
It isn't only me that thinks she is so pretty; 
papa thinks so too. He just sits and looks, 
and looks at her, till mamma doesn't quite 
like it, and asks him to look at baby a 
little ! " 

Ellen's first letter was short. Her heart 
was too full. She said at the end — 

"I suppose you will both laugh and cry 
over Alice's letter. At first I thought of 
suppressing it. But it gives you such a 
graphic picture of the whole scene that I 
shall let it go. It is well that I had the ex- 
cuse of the surprise for my behavior, but I 
myself doubt very much if I should have 
done any better, had I been prepared for 
their coming. 



"God bless and thank you, dear Sally, for 
this last year, as I cannot. 

"Ellen." 

These events happened many years ago. 
My sister and I are now old women. Her 
life has been from that time to this one of the 
sunniest and most unclouded I ever knew. 

John Gray is a hale old man ; white-haired 
and bent, but clear-eyed and vigorous. All 
the good and lovable and pure in his nature 
have gone on steadily increasing : his love for 
his wife is still so full of sentiment and ro- 
mance that the world remarks it. 

His grandchildren will read these pages, no 
doubt, but they will never dream that it could 
have been their sweet and placid and beloved 
old grandmother who, through such sore straits 
in her youth, kept her husband I 



CHRISTINE NILSSON AND HER MAESTRO. 



"Mamma, mamma, please wake up and 
eat your breakfast, and dress yourself, and 
take Isabel out to hear a new singer. The 
carriage is at the door, and she's here, wait- 
ing for you." 

I opened my sleepy eyes to see Amy' s blonde 
head bending over me, whilst Isabel stood at 
the half-opened door, a shadow of apprehen- 
sion in her smiling brown eyes. 

" Dear me, children," I expostulated, rais- 
ing myself on my elbow and glancing round 
the room, strewn with the things I had worn 
to the American Embassy the night before, 
"how can I possibly go ? I don't want any 
more music, — I heard the Valse des Adieux 
all last night. Besides, I couldn't get ready 
in less than an hour, and Isabel never waited 
an hour for anything in her life." 

m " Oh, but I will ! " exclaimed Isabel. " I 
will be glad to wait if you'll only be so good 
and sweet as to take me. Mamma has got 
one of her nervous headaches, and I'm dying 
to go to-day to hear this new singer. She's a 
Swedish girl, perfectly lovely, and with such 
a voice ! " 

" Pardon, mademoiselle," said a voice from 
behind, and my maid appeared on the thresh- 
old with the breakfast-tray, ordered, by the 
two smooth-cheeked conspirators, to be pre- 
pared in advance of my waking. 

"I see I must go," I said, as I resignedly 
raised the cup of coffee to my lips ; and so, 
aided by my self-improvised lady's maid, I 
did succeed in getting ready within Isabel's 
hour. 



" For, you see," she said as she buttoned 
my boots, whilst Amy arranged my veil, " the 
lesson begins at eleven, and I wouldn't lose 
a note for the world. Madame Taillant per- 
fectly raves about her, and you know she 
wouldn't unless it were something quite dif- 
ferent from other things." 

With which somewhat confused sentence 
Isabel jumped to her feet, hurried me down- 
stairs and into the carriage, called to the 
coachman — " Quarante-trois, Chaussee d'An- 
tin, et allez vite," and then nestling up to 
my side and giving the cheek next her a 
hearty kiss, exclaimed : 

" I really do think you are the nicest, kind- 
est friend any girl ever had ! " 

Whereat I smiled contentedly, for Isabel, 
with her impulsive, loving ways, pretty face 
and graceful figure, was a pet of mine, al- 
though she used to try my patience contin- 
ually by her incessant imprudences, and by 
the innumerable host of caprices which at- 
tended her wherever she went. 

"And this new star that is to be," I queried, 
"you must tell me who she is, and how she 
came to be discovered, and everything about 
her." 

"I'll tell you all I know, but that isn't 
much. We were at the Italiens night before 
last, and I sat in the front seat next Madame 
Taillant' s box. She leaned over and told 
me she had a new wonder for me, — a beauti- 
ful young Swedish girl, as good as she could 
be, with a voice like an angel. Then I asked 
where she was, and how I could hear and see 



480 



CHRISTINE NILSSON AND HER MAESTRO. 



her, and she said she was studying under the 
great master, Wartel, and that the only way 
to see and hear her was to go there when she 
took her lesson. And when she saw how 
disappointed I looked, for I don't know him, 
she wrote on one of her husband's cards and 
gave it to me, and told me the days she — I 
mean the Swedish girl — took her lesson, and 
said I could go and give the card, and that, 
as she was an old pupil of Wartel' s, he'd let 
me in; and that's all she knew." 

Here Isabel stopped a moment to take 
breath, then continued, as we rolled down 
the wide Avenue des Champs Elysees, with 
its rows of many-storied, red and gilt balco- 
nied, carved yellow-stone houses : 

"All yesterday I spent trying to find out 
about her. She was only a little child, they 
say, when a Swedish gentleman heard her 
sing, and took hei and had her educated, and 
sent her to Paris to be finished, and she's 
been to Madame C 's school, and at Ma- 
dame G 's school, and all the girls love her 

because she's so nice, and she goes and sings 
to them once in a while, and then there's a 
fete in the school ; and she's going to make 
her debut soon, and they say she will make 
a furore ; and I'm just dying to see her." 

And Isabel went on chattering like a mag- 
pie as we crossed the upper side of the great 
Place de la Concorde, its fountains flashing 
in the winter sunlight, unconscious of the red- 
der flood that had once drenched the stones 
on which they stood ; up the Rue Royale, 
with its ancient stone hotels, past the Made- 
leine — that vain attempt to Gallicize the mar- 
ble beauty of the Parthenon ; along the al- 
ready bustling, jostling, shop-crowded Boule- 
vards, till we turned up the dark and narrow 
length of the Chaussee d'Antin, and finally 
stopped at the designated number. 

"Ten minutes to eleven," said Isabel, 
glancing at her little absurdity of a watch. 
"We're just in time, for it will take about 
that to get up-stairs. Enter the courtyard, 
Jules ; " and as I sat dismayed at the as- 
cending prospect revealed by Isabel's words, 
we rumbled through the low, dark archway 
into a small courtyard surrounded by im- 
mensely tall walls, and stopped at a narrow 
door on the opposite corner. Isabel jumped 
out, exclaiming : 

" Now for a climb ! " 

A climb it was. Up the steep, slippery, 
polished brown stairs, up and still up we went, 
till, as we reached the fourth flight, my cour- 
age failed. 

" Isabel, this staircase is a French Jack- 
the-Giant-Killer's bean-stalk. I believe if it 



has an end it will only be found in the 
sky." 

" Yes, it's horrid," responded Isabel ; " but 
there can't be many more flights," and she 
looked up anxiously at the vista above. 

Up the fourth : — I heard the sound of a 
piano. Up the fifth : — the sound was close 
at hand. Gasping and faint, I found myself 
before a very little door, at which Isabel stop- 
ped. 

"It's here," she whispered, putting the 
card of introduction into my hand; "the 
last on the left-hand side." She rang : the 
door opened by a spring from within, and we 
passed through a tiny, red tile-paved ante- 
room, into a tiny, dark green parlor. A cab- 
inet piano nearly filled one side of the room ; 
a cheerful fire blazed its welcome on the 
other, and, politely bowing to his unknown 
visitors, there stood the tall, slender figure of 
the old and famous maestro, Schubert- War- 
tel, so called from his having been the first 
to introduce those wonderful, soul-burdened 
Schubert melodies into gay, gilded, glittering 
France. As he turned from the comparative 
twilight of the heavily-curtained little room 
to the window, in order to decipher the card, 
I had an opportunity to observe at my ease 
his striking face and figure. As I said, he 
was very tall and very slender, supple as a 
cat in his movements, although he must then 
have been very old, for he had been trained 
by Cherubini. His soft, fine hair still retained 
its color, and was brushed carefully back from 
his high, narrow forehead. The expression 
of his delicately modeled face was a mixture 
of acuteness and bonhomie. My observa- 
tions were cut short by his turning towards 
us with a winning smile, and with most cour- 
teous welcome installing us in two comforta- 
ble easy-chairs opposite the piano ; then un- 
rolling the green silk fire-shade on the mantel- 
piece, he arranged it to shade our faces from 
the blaze. All this was done with the quiet 
courtesy of a gentleman of the old school. 
A few words from him of polite inquiry as to 
the health of his former pupil, Madame Tail- 
lant, and then Isabel broke bounds. 

" Oh, monsieur, I am so glad you let us in ! 
I am dying to hear your pupil, this Swedish 
girl that people are talking so much about." 

"Vraiment," said the maestro, smiling, 
while a gleam shot from his small, piercing 
eyes; "but that is not astonishing. It is a 
pearl, madame," he said, turning to me, "a 
true pearl ! a most sympathetic voice — great 
compass, great purity, and such a tone ! It 
is a voice of crystal. I foresee for her a 
great future — mais la voila ! " 



CHRISTINE NILSSON AND HER MAESTRO. 



481 



As he spoke the bell rang, the door 
opened, a light step passed through the ante- 
room, and, followed by her attendants, a girl 
— a snow-wreath rather — glided into the 
room. Sl\e made a slight salutation to us, 
a cordial one to the accompanist, a slight, 
black-haired young man who had hitherto re- 
mained hidden behind the piano, and then 
raised her large, clear eyes, with a lovely ex- 
pression of mingled reverence and affection, 
to the maestro. 

" Good morning, ma petite, and how goes 
it ? " he asked. 

"Well, very well," she answered, smiling, 
and then began to remove her bonnet and 
casaque. Isabel gave me one glance and 
then riveted her brown eyes upon the lovely 
figure before her. The girl's slender form 
was displayed in its light but symmetrical 
proportions by her closely-fitting brown dress ; 
the abundance of golden hair was confined 
by a knot, freeing the graceful setting of her 
head upon her shoulders ; and her delicate 
and regular features were warmed by the rud- 
dy glow of the fire as she bent towards it, 
rubbing gently her little white hands, for the 
morning, though sunny, was cold. I thought 
I had never seen a lovelier creature, so un- 
conscious and so girlish. 

A word or two with the maestro, the placing 
of a book on the piano, a few opening chords 
Xrom the accompanist, and the lesson began. 
[ held my breath. It was as if a skylark had 
•clothed itself in human form, so crystal-clear 
poured forth the fresh young notes. But if a 
skylark had established its home in the young 
singer's throat, surely the soul of a Cremona 
violin had taken possession of the maestro. 
Seated beside the instrument, his tall figure 
bending and swaying to the measure, his hand 
with gesture of command swelling or soften- 
ing the notes, he pictured the singing on the 
air. And such wonderful delicacy, such 
depth of expression, such elevation and 
breadth of feeling as those gestures por- 
trayed ! And then the quick apprehension, 
the sympathetic response, the seraphic sweet- 
ness of the voice of the pupil ! I sat in a 
maze of astonishment and delight, whilst Isa- 
bel, getting possession of my hand, squeezed 
it in her ecstasy till she fairly pained me. 

" Pas mal ! that goes better than the last 
time," said the maestro, as the last full note 
died away. At this, as I thought, scanty 
praise, the girl raised her eyes with a quick 
smile, and the rose-tint on her cheek deep- 
ened perceptibly. " And now for a vocalise" 
he continued. 

She began. After a few bars of clear, 
Vol. III.— 11 



brilliant melody, during which the maestro' s 
face had decidedly clouded, he made a sud- 
den motion with his hand. Piano and voice 
stopped instantly. 

"Not so loud, my child, not so loud! 
You're not in a church — Chanter, c'est char- 
mer. Listen ! " And in a voice of such ex- 
quisite sweetness as I never shall hear again, 
he repeated the passage. 

" Oh ! " groaned Isabel, in a spasm of de- 
light. There was no mistaking the tone. 
The old maestro turned his quick eye upon 
her as she sat, her face all aglow. He looked 
well pleased ; the sound was familiar to his 
ear. Had not all Europe smiled and sighed 
and wept with delight at the wonderful in- 
flections of that soul-moving voice of his ! 

The piano and voice again took up the 
strain, — but how differently from before ! It 
was the gladness of morning, the mirth of 
sunny brooks, the warbling of happy birds, 
the song of a pure young heart, knowing no 
evil, fearing no harm. As the silver notes 
flowed on, tears of delight rose to my eyes. 
It was like looking into a sinless world. Isa- 
bel could not contain herself. 

"I must go and tell her how I admire 
her ! " she whispered during an interlude. 

" My dear child, if you interrupt this lesson, 
I will never take you anywhere again as long 
as you live," I whispered back. And Isabel 
reluctantly sank down in her easy-chair. 

When the vocalise was ended, I expressed 
my gratification and my admiration of his 
method to the maestro, whilst Isabel escaped 
to the side of the singer, and, to judge by her 
sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks, poured out 
the flood of her honest girlish admiration. 
The piquant little brunette, all animation, 
beside the lovely golden-haired snow-wreath, 
made a picture that would have pleased an 
artist's eye; but I gave it but one look, so 
interested was I by what the old maestro was 
saying. "It is the true Italian method, 
madame, the method of the great, great sing- 
ers. To-day instrumental music is carried to 
its highest pitch; it approaches perfection; 
but the voice — but singing — ah, madame, it 
does not exist ! In those days no singer 
would dare to risk himself before the public 
unless he had studied — studied conscientiously 
for eight years ; and now — mon Dieu, four 
years, three years and a half, and then a 
debut!" "And the music they sing," he 
continued, after taking a fierce pinch of snuff", 
" mon Dieu, what voice can sing what Meyer- 
beer and Verdi have written, without being 
utterly spoiled ? It is ruin, it is destruction 
itself. The voice is the most tender, the 



482 



CHRISTINE NILSSON AND HER MAESTRO. 



most delicate, the most exquisite of organs, 
and the composers of to-day demand of it 
the sonority of the trombone united to the 
compass of the violin. And the public — ah, 
the public ! — it applauds with frenzy one note 
— one mere note — which is murderous to the 
singer's throat, a mere tour deforce, of brutal 
force ; but the tenderness, the pathos, the 
delicacy that should be the charm of music, 
that should transport them out of their coarse, 
material lives into the Heaven above them — 
all that finds them and leaves them cold, un- 
impassioned, stupid. ' What does it mean ? ' 
they say" — here he gave the French shrug, 
that mixture of contempt, disgust, and ab- 
horrence. " Mon Dieu, they are right : it 
means nothing to them — they cannot under- 
stand it." 

" But such a style as this, such training as 
yours, and a voice so uncommon as that of 
mademoiselle," I suggested, — "surely that 
will do much for public taste." 

"We shall see, we shall see," he responded, 
his face relaxing from its melancholy expres- 
sion. " It is a veritable talent, and great do- 
cility, great docility. Give me but docility, 
madame, and I will make this wood sing," 
and he struck his hand smartly upon the top 
of the little cabinet piano,* which emitted an 
acquiescing murmur. " For, after all, what 
is singing? Singing is a gymnastic of the 
lungs. My maxim is to obtain the greatest 
force by the gentlest means. Above all, there 
must be no compression whatever of the top 
of the throat; it must remain open in the 
very highest notes. Nay, more than this, — 
the higher the voice ascends, the more the 
throat must open. We call that lowering the 
tone. It gives a roundness, a fullness, a 
depth not to be obtained by any other 
means, and it preserves the voice intact ; it 
prevents it from wearing out." 

My look of fixed attention encouraged 
him to go on and unfold to me some of the 
secret procedures of his most difficult art. In 
reply to my, "You interest me extremely, 
monsieur," he proceeded : 

"And in this method all the scales, all the 
preparatory exercises must be sung softly, 
softly ; beginning on the lower note and as- 
cending to the highest ; never striking first 
the high note and then descending. That is 
fatal — with that comes the coup de gosier /" 
And the master's mobile face showed a full 
appreciation of the enormity of that hammer- 
like blow of the voice which untaught singers 
are apt to give when a note is difficult to 
strike. 

After a moment's pause his eyebrows re- 



sumed their natural position, and he con- 
tinued : " Therein lies the superiority of this 
method over all others ; it never allows any 
fatigue, any strain upon the voice." 

" I have heard that Garcia lost h\s place as 
a teacher at the Conservatoire, because he 
broke so many voices," I said. 

" That is only too true. His teaching, like 
that of Duprez, was a Procrustean bed: for 
the voices that could stretch to it, very good ; 
but woe to the others." 

" I heard Madame Viardot last week in the 
Orphee," I remarked, desirous to learn his 
opinion of that artiste. 

"A great singer," he responded emphati- 
cally. 

" Yes, she delighted me in many things," I 
continued, "but I do not think she brought 
out all the effects of which that music is capa- 
ble. There were certain passages which 
failed to touch me as they ought to have 
done, for I think that opera one of the most 
moving compositions that has ever been pro- 
duced. I refer especially to the aria in the 
infernal regions." 

" Madame a raison," he responded, his face 
lighting up ; " that music is sublime. Yes ; 
Viardot is not right in her rendering of that 
song here." I saw his small, keen eye change 
its expression ; his face became rapt, it soft- ' 
ened, all its lines melting and fusing as it 
were, so that he no longer looked old ; and 
the:,, to my inexpressible surprise, for I knew 
that he never sang, the great maestro began 
to sing that exquisite song of the heart-broken, 
imploring Orpheus. 

I have heard much music in my life, but such 
music as that I never heard before — I devoutly 
hope I may never hear again. No words of 
mine can convey the faintest idea of the im- 
pression it produced. It was the very soul of 
music revealed in all its power. Such a world 
of woe, such plaintive beseeching, rising into 
the very agony of entreaty ; such pathetic 
affection, deepening into most impassioned 
remembrance ; such an awe-struck sense of 
the deathful power of the deity whose relent- 
ing he was imploring; such faint glimmerings 
of hope, sinking into the night of despair ! 
My every nerve quivered in a torture of de- 
light. I felt suffocated by the inaudible sobs 
that filled my throat. It was a positive relief 
when the great singer stopped ; and yet, if T 
had had the power, I would have bid him 
sing on forever. For the first and only time I 
had a glimpse of that lost art of which such 
marvels are related, and henceforth no ac- 
count of its wonder-working power has 
seemed too strange for me to believe. I 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION. 



483 



glanced at Isabel as the last sentence melted 
into air. She was leaning back, her face 
buried in her handkerchief, looking like a lit- 
tle statue dressed by Worth. 

I remember but imperfectly the rest of the 
lesson. The song had left me giddy and be- 
wildered, my every nerve unstrung. One 
thing only I recall plainly : when the lesson 
was over, the young pupil took leave of her 
master in a way that struck me as very pleas- 
ing. She went up to him, and standing be- 
fore him, slightly bent her fair head down- 
wards. He gravely inclined his tall thin 
figure towards her, and touched his lips to her 



pure white forehead. The little scene re- 
mains in my memory as one of its loveliest 
pictures. 

" It's enough to make any one try to be as 
good as ever they can, so as to get some day 
to Heaven and hear such music as that," said 
Isabel, leaning forward in the carriage and 
looking wistfully up at the window so high 
above us, as we turned to leave the court- 
yard. " It makes one feel as if everything 
was so little ! " And with this chaotic sen- 
tence she laid her head on my shoulder and 
sighed as I never heard my pretty Isabel sigh 
before. 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION. 



If ever there was a creature upon earth 
who more knew her duty, and more did it 
not, than the needy American girl of the 
present day (that is, if knowledge of one's 
duty comes by abounding exhortation to the 
same), we should like to see that stiff-necked 
curiosity. 

Concerning her general airs about the kind 
of work that she will do for wages, and her 
particular deadly stand at one kind of work 
that she will not do for wages, viz.: house- 
work, — on this her sin and folly, both the 
friends and foes of woman suffrage so take 
the pulpit against her that it would seem as if 
only total depravity could account for her 
still obstinate refusal to turn from the error 
of her fine ways, plunge in the wash-tub, and 
be saved. 

Such variety of appeals are made to her : 
there is the " Young Family Man," who wails 
out in the newspapers how many children he 
has ; how feeble is his wife ; how unspeaka- 
bly atrocious the Hibernian maid-of-all-work ; 
how unutterably preferable would be an 
American maid-of-all-work, but she will not 
come, although the woman's rights people de- 
clare that she is starving everywhere ; — he 
wishes to hear no more about her starving, 
nor about woman's rights; woman shows 
that she has not sense enough to vote by in- 
dulging in starving when there is bread 
enough in his house and to spare for anybody 
who will come and make it ; men are not so 
absurd as to go starving when there's honest 
work waiting for them ; he can get all the men 
and boys he wants in his business ; he can get 
everything done but his housework ; he knows 
a great many other Young Family Men who 
are in the same condition, and he demands 



of his country to know what these things 
mean. And any number of editors ring 
changes on the Young Family Man's com- 
plaint, and demand more or less sarcastically 
to know what these things mean. And they 
invariably bid women observe how compara- 
tively free men are from their sort of pride- - 
ful nonsense about labor. 

And the worst of it is, that the female ex- 
horters on the subject use precisely the same 
weapon of reproof. "Young daughters of 
the Republic, go to work ! " cries the woman 
suffrage oratress from the platform ; — "t)y all 
means be lawyers or lecturers or ministers, if . 
you can ; but if you cannot, go sweetly out. 
to kitchen service, for to be independent is 
grand, and to earn one's living glorious, in 
any employment whatever." Thus pro- 
nounces the Pythoness of Reform, and when 
she beholds her counsels unheeded, she fails 
not to turn round on her sex with this most 
unkindest cut of all, that men do not so be-. 
have themselves, — never make the vain femi-. 
nine fuss about the rank of an avocation. 

And we have just been reading the news- 
paper oracles of Gail Hamilton, a woman un- 
derstood to be on the other side, who, after 
enunciating what, considering the toiling 
sphere where humanity's lot is cast, may be 
called an audacious theory of woman's right 
to do' nothing, — still swoops down all the 
same on the unfortunates who, alas ! must do 
something, with a tyranny of demand and ob-: 
jurgation which may well make the long line 
of women seeking employment shake in their 
worn-out shoes before this dreadful searcher 
of hearts, who informs them that " what they 
really want is not work, but to be paid for not 
working ; " that all their noise is " the cry and. 



4 8 4 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION. 



clamor of the weak ; " that she is " amazed, she 
is indignant at them," etc., etc. ; all the gusty 
Hamilton storm winding up with the invidious 
comparison of man as a laborer, enforced by 
some particularly cutting illustrations. 

Now we admit the fact as an undeniable 
one, that men under pressure of necessity 
show no such distressed reluctance as women 
to come down to an inferior employment; 
but inasmuch as for most phenomena of hu- 
man conduct there are reasons, it strikes us 
that it might be well to search with what eyes 
are given us if haply any reason can be found 
why here, where the man marches on, the wo- 
man stands like a dolorous block, with every- 
body beseeching and preaching and screech- 
ing her out of the way, since to bestow these 
exercises on any mortal with the least profit, 
and, we may add, with the least justice, we 
must first endeavor to come at his or her 
point of view. 

We shall humbly try a lance, then, for this 
obstructing creature, and we are obliged to 
begin by confessing our opinion that she 
somewhat shrinks from coarse labor in itself, 
as a condition that links her back to the wig- 
wam era, out of which she is perfectly aware, 
whether she has read history or not, one of 
the first emerging steps was to exalt women 
from squaws who served into ladies who were 
served. She can acquire so much learning 
as this any day by one glance into poverty's 
back alleys, where the barbarian style still 
lingers ; so the iron of the pots and kettles 
probably enters somewhat into the very soul 
of this poor, ambitious daughter of the enlight- 
ened age, and it enters all the deeper, the 
less genuine are the distinctions between 
herself and her dusky prototype who once 
pounded the corn and transported the family 
possessions on her shoulders. Whereas, 
man's first upward move having been to take 
the pounding and lugging labors to himself, his 
primal great waking up to shame of laziness 
eternally lingers in him, perhaps to make him 
feel it less a man's disgrace to work, at any 
work, than to do nothing. In short, man to 
labor and woman to look pretty is the crude 
notion of the refined order of things. And 
we assume, of course, that many of the young 
women of whom we speak are somewhat 
crude in their refined aspirations. 

We observe, in the next place, that it is in- 
evitable that those who are not going to have 
what is called a career should be intensely 
particular about all their transient circum- 
stances, since these leave more than a tran- 
sient record. A boy can be boot-black, 
.negro minstrel, tavern hostler, ship's cook, 



charcoal peddler, — revolve through any num- 
ber of dingy and ungenteel trades, and come 
up merchant prince, railroad king, and mem- 
ber of Congress. Of course, not every 
urchin who begins life with "Boots, sir?" at 
the street corners will be "one of the most 
remarkable men of the country" before he 
dies, but the vast numbers of men who ac- 
tually do attain from nothing to quite substan- 
tial somethings, and the infinitely various 
avenues open to masculine endeavor through 
which mere industry and pluck can push a 
successful way, — these facts surround the 
whole sex, as it were, with the possibility of 
redeeming any present mean condition by 
some future prosperity and renown, and some 
subtle recognition of this potential quality of 
a man to rise in the world is, we fancy, at 
least one of the reasons why a boy is never ' 
contemned in that final way in which a girl is 
in precisely the same circumstances of worldly 
humiliation. 

For it is only by the possession of certain 
absolute gifts, as artistic or -literary talent, 
gifts so few in kind and so rarely bestowed 
that in no estimate of a class can their chance 
be taken into account, that a woman ever has 
a career, — we use this word in default of a 
better one, to denote that line of brilliant 
personal achievements by which one's acci- 
dents are forgotten, or remembered only to 
add luster to the victorious power which has 
climbed so far. 

Nilsson's fair cheek burns not that she was 
born in the ochre-daubed hut of a peasant, 
and brought fagots from the wood in her 
childish arms ; but the famous singer's origin • 
and history argue not to the poor American 
girl who will never be a prima donna that she 
can therefore without sacrifice sell bundles 
of kindling wood from door to door. 

We suppose that the Woman's Rights party 
may say here that our illustrations go to show 
(if indeed they will allow that they go to show 
anything) the crying need of a career for wo- 
man equally with man ; we do not propose to 
enter now on the vast deeps of that disputa- 
tion, our present small endeavor being merely 
to inquire how things are, leaving it to more, 
inspired souls to declare how they shall be, 
reminding such, however, that the actual and 
not the theoretical must assuredly be our ba- 
sis when we assume to judge a class so close- 
ly pressed by the former as are young and 
dependent girls. And we repeat that thess» 
in the actual, present world find themselves 
marked by their labor so differently from the 
other sex, that in this condition of a servant, 
for instance, a boy may do even woman's 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION. 



485 



work and be less looked down on than a girl. 
Why, we know a certain country church where 
you may see, any Sunday, sitting stalwart 
and comely among the other occupants of a 
leading family pew, a youth with none of the 
family features. Handsome are his clothes 
as anybody's, and more stunning his neck-tie. 
He holds his head straight above those su- 
perior neck-ties, and looks the world in the 
face with no trace of unhappy humiliation 
whatever ; yet a very few years ago he waited 
at table in a white apron, and washed dishes 
in a checked apron in the kitchen of the lady 
who sits at the head of the pew. 

A very few years farther back, he was a 
pauper boy in the State almshouse of a neigh- 
Doring town, and was taken thence by the 
matron aforesaid expressly for these domestic 
services ; she had taken several boys thus from 
that institution, as had other housekeepers in 
the place, but they shunned the girls ; chose 
the boys instead, even for house-servants ; and 
solemnly pondering this new proof of wo- 
man's bankrupt estate, that even in the alms- 
house circle girls were at a discount, we 
asked this particular matron, who had been 
eminently successful in bringing up her poor 
boys, why she did not take a girl from the 
almshouse. 

Well, the upshot of her reasons was that 
the place she could give would make the 
pauper boy happy, but the girl miserable, and 
therefore intractable. The boy could have 
some mates of his own age, was not painfully 
snubbed at school or elsewhere ; but with 
such a girl there was no creature American- 
born that would affiliate — and this in a little 
country town so plain and simple in all its 
ways that women could do their own house- 
work with honor, but not housework for other 
people, whether the wages were in money or 
bringing up. 

Of course, when we come down to the 
almshouse ranks, the pauper girl suffers an- 
other extra penalty in that the distinctive re- 
quirement which we think will always be made 
for purity in woman almost instinctively in- 
clines to impute special loss to the girl over 
the boy among these poor young lives at which 
the humblest respectability that knows its fa- 
ther and its mother looks askance for a while, 
to see what their dubiousness will clear up 
into. But whatever should be reckoned out 
for this weight from the absolute depression 
caused by her labor alone in the case just 
cited, is not here only one more confirmation 
of our general truth of woman's greater sub- 
jection to circumstance ? 

But again, a girl's avocation deciding her 



social status — deciding the bare line of her 
acquaintances even, necessarily also decides 
what shall be her opportunities to enter the 
one vocation to which she looks as her sub- 
stitute for a career — the matrimonial vocation^ 
to which grand question any smallest discus- 
sion of woman's position must speedily come. 
And here, what just comparison is there be- 
tween a young man seeking skill, training, 
money, knowing that he can afford to gain 
these anyhow and anywhere, if honestly, hav- 
ing his whole life long in which to improve 
on his beginnings, and the girl who has but a 
few short years wherein the where and how 
of her bread-winning labors will almost cer- 
tainly determine the place of her after life ? 

In view of the simple facts of existence, 
one might smile to hear the line of persuasion 
adopted to induce young American girls to 
go out to service, as for instance, how their em- 
ployers would value them ; how a certain mis- 
tress leaves in her will a handsome legacy to 
two maid-servants who had served her for 
forty-five years — as if one could propose a 
greater horror to average young girls than the 
prospect of being maid-servants for forty-five 
years, even with a small bag of money at the 
end to bury them with ! Certainly, so long 
as the office of hired domestic, whether from 
its being in this country almost universally 
filled by the Irish, or from whatever causes 
it has fallen to such social status among 
Americans that the hired servant-girl would 
have to be very pretty indeed whom the 
Yankee milkman would think a worthy match 
for him — so long as this notion is in force, no 
matter how absurd its foundation, the most 
glorified modern-improvement kitchen under 
the sun will not tempt from any other work 
that will keep her from starvation the poorest 
American girl who does not wish to marry an 
Irish laborer, and who is yet too young to. 
look upon spinsterhood with legacies as the 
best thing life has left for her. 

Among the ranks of dependent women are 
found, in our country, very widely different 
individuals. In the sudden transitions of for- 
tune peculiar to our national life, or through 
some of those complications of family trouble 
possible to all life, or again in the case of 
those natures which ever and anon blossom 
in by-places, whose atmosphere is really not 
meet for their nourishing, — through any of 
these causes young lives, sensitive and gifted, 
are cast away from all props of family, friends, 
and fortune, to find their own place where 
chance of doing so is at present so sadly 
small. There are histories among these which 
verily seem to cry aloud for entirely new op- 



486 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION 



portunities for woman. This class, however, 
since it is the more exceptional, we have not 
had in view in this writing, but those far larger 
numbers of girls whose troubles might be 
helped without a revolution, since it is really 
not the old work that they feel superior to, 
but something that has become more or less 
factitiously linked to that work. So, although 
the present movement towards finding some 
new things for women to do is doubtless a just 
and needed one, we fancy a yet wider field for 
solidly practical accomplishment might lie in 
searching how to do the old things after a new 
manner. 

For it is certain that woman's old work will 
still have to be done by somebody, and argue as 
we will, in the way of her entering very largely 
upon most of the employments hitherto mo- 
nopolized by man lies the fact of such an eter- 
nal inequality in the conditions of their lives, 
that it seems to us the final result of such 
innovation would be, poorer work at lower 
price ; men, to be sure, to some extent driven 
out of the field, but by the cheapness and not 
the skill of the new competitor. But poor 
work, we suppose, is not a final benefit ; and 
then the masculine Hegira, — we must needs 
quake, of course, to make any account of 
that, remembering the days in which we live ; 
but although a noted oratress on woman's 
rights does insist that all young men now in 
employments that could be filled by women 
ought to vacate to them, go West and to 
plowing — in spite of this authoritative dictum, 
we secretly wonder if the subtracting a few 
more thousands from the tragically insufficient 
thousands of marriageable young men now in 
Massachusetts would verily be welcomed by 
the marriageable daughters of the State as a 
blessed relief. Yea, and as the article of 
money is rather essential to the perfect ideal 
of the marriageable young man, to have him 
too much "ruined by cheap labor," Chinese 
or otherwise — might not this method of attack 
in their behalf strike some of the weak female 
minds of his particular set as having a good 
deal of boomerang about it? We dare no 
more on this head. 

To go back to the old work that must be 
done by somebody — to shift this old necessary 
work to the lowest body that can be got to 
do it has long been a growing endeavor with 
both men and women, even those quite unable 
to afford the infinite waste and disorder con- 
sequent on such relegation. The rush from 
country to city, the abandoning of what is 
called productive labor, of which we so con- 
stantly hear as an alarming feature of the 
time — these are parts of the same movement, 



and, like the refusal of American girls to do 
housework, are, we believe, by no means uni- 
versally induced by distaste and scorn of the 
work itself. 

It often seems to us, indeed, that there is 
much untrue talk about humanity's natural 
aversion to manual labor ; we think that the 
vast majority of humanity decidedly prefer 
work more or less manual to purely mental 
toil ; this is one of the eternal compensations, 
that whereas the latter is in greater honor, the 
former requires a kind of effort far less trying 
to human inertia, so that as between sweat of 
body or of brains, most mortals choose the 
former perspiration, which, it is needless to 
say, such proportion of the race must always 
bear to meet the material needs of a high 
civilization, and we do not believe there is 
quite so melancholy a want of correspond- 
ence in things that the immense majority of 
mankind are necessitated to precisely that 
kind of activity for which they have a natural 
loathing, and which is an eternal wrong to 
their real capacities. 

But they have a natural loathing, and a just 
one, for a life that is all work, or whose work 
has somehow suffered such a false depression 
that it degrades those who do it below ail 
their essential equals, as in the case of the 
particular female avocation on which we have 
dwelt so much. Not proposing, as we have 
said, in this article to lay down the new law, 
but merely to point out some of the needs to 
which it will have to be fitted, we only remark 
here that of the latter evil, just mentioned, 
at least one inducing cause must be in the 
failure of those outside rightly to esteem such 
work. Why, the poorest Irish washerwoman, 
who would not know what the words " digni- 
ty of labor " meant, if you were to say them 
at her, nevertheless most infallibly knows, 
when you commend her masterly performance 
in the tucked and ruffled skirt-ironing profes- 
sion, whether you are merely gratified to have 
clear skirts to wear, as you are to have a good 
peach to eat, contemptuous of the dirt out of 
which it grows, or whether you recognize her 
triumph over the stickiness of starch as . a 
good achievement of human wit, an accom- 
plishment which, like your accomplishments, 
has cost time and patience and a putting to- 
gether of ideas to perfect ; and if she were a 
person to have a strong feeling about the 
dignity of her labor — nay, she does have the 
feeling if she is human — but if she were in a 
position to act upon that feeling, be sure that 
your sentiment would influence her action. 
And be altogether sure that you could not de- 
ceive her about that sentiment. We may. 



A SMALL PIECE OF THE WOMAN QUESTION. 



487 



impose on our superiors in station with much 
mock obeisance, but there is no way to make 
our inferiors believe that we respect them, 
but — to respect them. 

For the other want — that of something be- 
sides work — the sweetness-and-light want — to 
turn to one more interpretation — Mr. Mat- 
thew Arnold's inexhaustible phrase : Who- 
ever could teach this Anglo-Saxon race, par- 
ticularly dull in this direction, the secret of 
diffusing over homely life some of that fancy 
and grace and charm which in certain happy 
races seem perfectly separable from wealth 
and condition and knowledge of the alphabet 
— such a discoverer would bring to the masses 
of this race a quite immeasurable good. Cer- 
tainly, until there is some little educating in 
this direction, innumerable hands will con- 
tinue to abandon the plow as a disgusting 
implement, that would take kindly enough to 
the plow if there was any pleasant cheer to 
be had when plowing was done, and rush 
away to the city, where there is at least some 
stupid racket to make one imagine one's self in 
spirits ; and men and women in country and 
city will go on striving after the vulgar-gen- 
teel, as at least one flowery remove from the 
vulgar-comfortable. Man cannot live by 
bread alone, nor by work alone, nor even by 
the multiplication-table. Much less woman. 

In the light of all the influences which tell 
upon her, within and without, our American 
dependent girl should be considered ; and we 
insist that these are too complex, that her 
case should be dismissed, when it becomes 
troublesome, with mere affirmations without 
inquiry. She is a girl of the period, and as 
The Period will probably not get any girls 
but its own, it might as well make the best 
of them in all their varieties, and in the least 
picturesque of these may be far more promise 
than doth yet quite appear. 

We grant that the dependent girl of. some 
other periods was a much simpler problem to 
deal with, and made a decidedly prettier 
figure for pastoral poetry. That "fair and 
happy milkmaid" of Sir Thomas Overbury 
"who rises with chanticleer, her dame's clock, 
and at night makes the lamb her curfew ; who 
makes her hand hard with labor and her 
heart soft with pity ; who, when winter even- 
ings fall early, sitting at her merry wheel, 
sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of Fortune ; 
who thus lives, and all whose care is that she 
may die in the spring-time, to have store of 
flowers stuck upon her winding-sheet" — 
verily this maiden in her living and her dying 
had attained to a point of view that no phi- 
losophy could improve on. 



Serene, full-orbed, divinely satisfying soul 
of a milkmaid (if indeed Sir Thomas Over- 
bury, being Sir Thomas, and beholding from 
without, did not dream you too), take your 
blessed pail on your arm, and come through 
these New England streets, where the east 
wind blows, with your "breath scenting all 
the year long of June like a new-made hay- 
cock" — surely it would be almost as much 
of a rapture to see you as to see Shak- 
speare ! 

Down in the mud we would go to kiss your 
feet, Our Lady of Content, and oh, if you 
would but say over us some of those prayers 
you know, — "prayers short and efficacious, 
which leave no ensuing idle cogitations /" 

For what but this mischief of cogitations 
makes all our burden? Away back in the 
peaceful wigwam era aforementioned, when 
the chief function of the cogitating organ was 
the passive one of being scalped, and such ac- 
tivity as there was in the brains of the scalp- 
ers certainly did not lie in the direction of 
making nice distinctions, — how lovely smooth 
ran everything in that good old time ; there 
was no " cry and clamor of the weak" then, for 
the weak made but one cry before the face of 
the strong, and that was a mortal one. This 
very woman question, in that wise day, had 
an admirably short and decisive adjustment, 
until some Advanced Spirit, shaking back his 
top-knot of wolf's tails and porcupine quills, 
as he was about to squeeze the small windpipe 
of an infant daughter de troJ> 7 must needs be- 
gin morally to cogitate. 

And the doomed pappoose being doubt- 
less rather an uncommonly handsome one, 
and the reflection occurring to the top-knot- 
ted sire, that the squaw mamma, and not he, 
would have its troublesome nose to flatten, 
and all the other labors incident to its polite 
training and bringing up — thus did the ethical 
disturber spare the little brown windpipe, de- 
claring that the strangling of female infants 
should be no more, and so came extra women 
into the world, and all our woe ! 

Nevertheless, that ancient simplicity being 
thus, alas ! done away with, and the mixed-up 
moral age upon us, the old method of settling- 
difficulties, whether with words or tomahawks, 
will no longer avail. For the lowest beings 
of a civilized society have a sufficient glimmer 
of intelligence to know, when you arraign 
them for judgment, whether or not you speak 
with any true feeling of the facts of their 
position, and the tomahawk privilege being 
unfortunately abolished, you cannot silence 
with words, unless you somewhat come into 
that grace of insight. ■ 



483 



A BALLAD OF CALDEN WATER. 



A BALLAD OF CALDEN WATER. 



Forward and back, from shore to shore, 
All day the boat hath wended ; 

But now old Andrew drops his oar, 
As if his task were ended. 

" The clouds are gathering black," he said, 
" The pine-tree wildly tossing ; 

The traveler must be sore bestead 
Who seeks to-night the crossing." 

He looks, and sees from vale or hill 

No lated horseman riding ; 
But what is this, so white and still, 

Adown the pathway gliding ! 

He fears to meet some spirit pale, 
Or wraith from out the water ; 

He sees the " Daisy of the Dale," 
The proud Lord Go wen's daughter. 

Ah ! many a time that timid dove, 

Swift from her shadow flying, 
Hath braved the darkness, all for love, 

To Calden water hying. 

And many a time before to-night 

Hath Andrew rowed her over, 
When softly through the waning light 

She stole to meet her lover. 

But that was in the days gone by ; — 

Alas ! the old sad story — 
'Twas ere he heard the bugle cry, 

And turned from love to glory. 

'Twas when her foot came down the hill 

As light as snow-flake falling ; 
While over Calden water, still, 

She heard her lover calling. 

She heard him singing, clear and low, 
" The flower of love lies bleeding ; " — 

The very echoes long ago 

Have ceased their tender pleading. 

And he who sang that sweet refrain 
Is sleeping where they found him, — 

Upon the trampled battle plain, 

With his silent comrades round him. 

While she, — for months within the vale 
Have tender maids been sighing, 

Because the "Daisy of the Dale," 
Its sweetest flower, was dying. 



And Andrew, rowing many a night, 
Hath sadly mused about her ; 

While from her chamber, high, the light 
Streamed o'er the Calden water. 

What marvel that he clasps his hands, 
And prays the saints to guide him, 

As, crossing now the cold wet sands, 
She takes her seat beside him. 

She speaks no word of sweet command, 
The proud Lord Gowen's daughter ; — 

She signs him with her flower-like hand 
To cross the Calden water. 

Trembling old Andrew takes the oar, 

Silent he rows her over ; 
Silent she steps upon the shore 

Where once she met her lover. 

There is no sound of mortal tread, 

Or mortal voice to greet her, 
But noiselessly, as from the dead,. 

Her lover glides to meet her. 

One moment they each other fold 

In clasp of love undying, 
The next but shadows, deep and cold, 

Upon the shore are lying. 

And see ; the darkness grows more drear— 
The pine more wildly tossing, 

And backward to the shore in fear 
Old Andrew swift is crossing. 

He drops his oar, he leaves his boat, 
He heeds nor fiend nor mortal ; 

He's crossed the castle's bridge and moat, 
He stands within the portal. 

Still on, as one who has no power 

Of pausing or of turning, 
He mounts unto the very tower, 

Where yet the light is burning. 

And there he sees a snow-white bed, 
And sees, with eyes affrighted, 

Set at the feet and at the head 
The waxen candles lighted. 

Upon a lovely, piteous sight 

As e'er was seen he gazes : — 
A maiden in her dead -clothes, white 

And all bestrewn with daisies ! 



TOPICS OF THE TIME. 



489 



TOPICS OF THE TIME. 



TRIFLERS ON THE PLATFORM. 

There was a time in the history of our popular 
" lecture system " when a lecture was a lecture. The 
men who appeared before the lyceums were men who 
had something to say. Grave discussions of important 
topics ; social, political, and literary essays ; instructive 
addresses and spirited appeals — these made up a win- 
ter's course of popular lectures. Now, a lecture may 
be any string of nonsense that any literary mountebank 
can find an opportunity to utter. Artemus Ward 
" lectured ; " and he was right royally paid for acting 
the literary buffoon. He has had many imitators ; 
and the damage that he and they have inflicted upon 
the institution of the lyceum is incalculable. The bet- 
ter class that once attended the lecture courses have 
been driven away in disgust, and among the remain- 
der such a greed for inferior entertainments has been 
excited that lecture managers have become afraid to 
offer a first-class, old-fashioned course of lectures to 
the public patronage. Accordingly, one will find upon 
nearly every list, offered by the various committees and 
managers, the names of triflers and buffoons who are 
a constant disgrace to the lecturing guild, and a con- 
stantly degrading influence upon the public taste. 
Their popularity is usually exhausted by a single per- 
formance, but they rove from platform to platform, 
retailing their stale jokes, and doing their best and 
worst to destroy the institution to which they cling for 
a hearing and a living. 

This thing was done in better taste formerly. 
" Drollerists " and buffoons and "Yankee comedi- 
ans " were in the habit of advertising themselves. 
They entered a town with no indorsement but their 
own, and no character but that which they assumed. 
They attracted a low crowd of men and boys as coarse 
and frivolous as themselves, and the better part of 
society never came in contact with them. A woman 
rarely entered their exhibitions, and a lady never ; yet 
they were clever men, with quite as much wit and 
common decency as some of the literary wags that are 
now commended to lecture committees by the bureaus, 
and presented by the committees to a confiding public. 
There are, and have been for years, men put forward 
as lecturers whose sole distinction was achieved by 
spelling the weakest wit in the worst way — men who 
never aimed at any result but a laugh, and who, if they 
could not secure this result by an effort in the line of 
decency, did not hesitate at any means, however low, to 
win the coveted response. If there is any difference 
between performers of this sort and negro minstrels, 
strolling "drollerists," who do not even claim to be 
respectable, we fail to detect it ; and it is high time 
that the managers of our lecture courses had left them 
from their lists, and ceased to insult the public by the 
presumption that it can be interested in their silly 
utterances. 

It would be claimed, we suppose, by any one who 



would undertake to defend the employment of these 
men, that they draw large houses. Granted : they do 
this once, and perhaps do something to replenish the 
managerial exchequer ; but they invariably send away 
their audiences disappointed and disgusted. No 
thoughtful or sensible man can devote a whole evening 
to the poorest kind of nonsense without losing a little 
of his self-respect, and feeling that he has spent his 
money for that which does not satisfy. The reaction 
is always against the system, and in the long run the 
managers find themselves obliged to rely upon a lower 
and poorer set of patrons, who are not long in learn- 
ing that even they can be better suited by the coarse 
comedy of the theater, and the dances and songs of the 
negro minstrel. Nothing has been permanently gained 
in any instance to the lyceum and lecture system by- 
degrading the character of the performances offered to. 
the public. A temporary financial success consequent 
upon this policy is always followed by dissatisfaction 
and loss, and it ought to be. Professional jesters and 
triflers are professional nuisances, who ought not to be 
tolerated by any man of common sense interested in 
the elevation and purification of the public taste. 

But shall not lyceums and the audiences they gather 
have the privilege of laughing? Certainly. Mr. 
Gough's audiences have no lack of opportunity to 
laugh, and there are others who have his faculty of 
exciting the mirthfulness of those who throng to hear 
them; but Mr. Gough is a gentleman who is never 
low, and who is never without a good object. He is an 
earnest Christian man, whose whole life is a lesson of 
toil and self-sacrifice. Mr. Gough is not a trifler ; and 
the simple reason that he continues to draw full houses 
from year to year is, that he is not a trifler. Wit., 
humor, these are never out of order in a lecture, pro- 
vided they season good thinking and assist manly 
purpose. Wit and humor are always good as condi- 
ments, but never as food. The stupidest book in the 
world is a book of jokes, and the stupidest man in the 
world is one who surrenders himself to the single pur- 
pose of making men laugh. It is a purpose that wholly 
demoralizes and degrades him, and makes him unfit to 
be a teacher of anything. The honor that has been 
shown to literary triflers upon the platform has had 
the worst effect upon the young. It has disseminated 
slang, and vitiated the taste of the impressible, and 
excited unworthy ambition and emulation. When 
our lyceums, on which we have been wont to rely for 
good influences in literary matters, at last become 
agents of buffoonery and low literary entertainments, 
they dishonor their early record and the idea which 
gave them birth. Let them banish triflers from the 
platform, and go back to the plan which gave them 
their original prosperity and influence, and they will 
find no reason to complain of a lack of patronage, or 
the loss of interest on the part of the public in their 
entertainments. 



49° 



TOPICS OF THE TIME. 



AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN RAILWAYS. 

There is an impression among Americans who have 
never visited Europe, that in some way, or in many- 
ways, the typical European railroad is superior to the 
American, and it seems desirable to define the differ- 
ences between them, that we, as a people, may arrive 
at an intelligent appreciation of our own railway sys- 
tem. There is a great deal of loose talk about the 
loose way in which railroads are managed here, while 
it is assumed that everything connected with the rail- 
way systems of Europe is comparatively sound and 
thorough. 

Until within the last ten years, the road-beds and 
rails of most European lines were superior to ours, but 
at this date they are not. Our railway corporations 
have been growing rich and ambitious of excellence. 
Even those lines that have come into the hands of 
grasping and corrupt monopolists have been immensely 
improved. With the wide introduction of steel rails 
have come improved ballasting and bridging, until 
now it would be difficult to find in England or con- 
tinental Europe better roads in any respect than those 
which constitute the leading lines between the great 
centers of this country. In England, the birth-place 
and nursery of the railway system, one will find quite 
as many roads in inferior condition as he will in 
America ; and he will only need to reside there a few 
months to learn that America does not monopolize the 
guilt and carelessness which find their record in railway 
accidents. England is small in its area. Its roads are 
necessarily short, and, being so, are easily managed ; 
but the frequency and destructiveness of railway acci- 
dents are the theme of as much fierce special protest 
and general denunciation with the press as the same 
events are in our own country. One would judge by 
the complaints of the English press that the English 
railway managers were the most criminally careless 
persons on the face of the earth. Nothing seems more 
homelike to an American in England than the tone of 
complaint toward railway corporations maintained by 
the newspapers. We carefully and honestly question 
whether England has anything to boast of in the su- 
periority of her railroads over our own, or on the 
superior safety of their operation. The English rail- 
roads have the advantage of having been originally 
built above, or below, the grade of the traveled roads 
and highways of the country ; but aside from this 
-manifest advantage, we know of none which the aver- 
age English railway possesses over our own. It is an 
advantage, however, which ought not to be lost sight 
of in all our future legislation on the subject. 

The management of passengers at railway stations in 
Europe is altogether superior to that which prevails 
here. The stations themselves are better, and are 
taken better care of externally and internally. The 
typical European railway station is rather a neat affair, 
with its pretty architecture and permanent stone plat- 
forms and borders of flowers and flowering shrubs. 
Then there is a constant care taken that no passenger 
go upon the railroad track. When it is necessary to 



cross the track at a station, passengers are compelled 
to cross by a bridge or a tunnel. When a train ar- 
rives at a station, every incoming passenger who alights 
leaves the train and reaches the street by a separate 
gate before the outgoing passengers are permitted to 
step upon the platform. Then the doors of the sta- 
tion-house are thrown open, and the passengers are 
directed to such cars as have unoccupied seats. There 
is no crush or disorder. If one should wish to see 
how badly this thing can be managed, let him notice 
the disgraceful jam that always occurs at New Haven, 
Conn., on the arrival of an express train, when a hun- 
dred passengers are trying to get out of cars into 
which a hundred passengers from the outside are trying 
to force themselves. Such a scene as occurs at that 
station a dozen times every day is never witnessed in 
Europe ; and we all know that the same scene occurs 
at thousands of stations all over our country. This is 
all wrong, and ought to be — and must be — reformed. 
In Europe eveiy station, on every road, is managed 
as the new Grand Central station is managed in New 
York. The passengers are not permitted upon the 
platform until they have purchased tickets and the tram 
is ready. In other words, the passengers are taken 
care of at the European railway station, and at the 
American they "use their intellects," and take care 
of themselves. The truth is that this is almost the 
only department of railway management in which the 
Europeans now surpass us. 

When we come to the matter of railway carriages, 
and the management of baggage and trains on the way, 
the American legitimately has the field of boasting to 
himself. The American system of carrying baggage 
in a single car in front of the train, in the charge of 
one man, with metallic checks for every piece, is in 
every respect superior to the European lack of system. 
The way in which baggage is managed in England is a 
marvel of clumsiness and stupidity. An ordinarily 
sharp American boy who had lived in the vicinity of a 
railroad could teach the railway managers of England 
their alphabet in this matter. The American railway 
car is, in our judgment, the only legitimate and compe- 
tent railway carriage in the world. The cars or 
coaches of continental Europe were adopted from the 
English model, and the idea that they are coaches has 
never been outgrown. The American car is the legiti- 
mate child of the railway and the public want. The 
little compartment car which seats ten passengers, 
opening by a door at each side, like a coach, is the 
child of the turnpike and four English horses. It is a 
large coach, or is made in imitation of a coach. We 
have heard Americans speak of our cars as " coaches," 
in imitation of the English name, but it is a silly mis- 
take. The word car is a finer and a better word than 
coach, and will outlive it, because the carriage to which 
it is applied is sure to become the railway carriage of 
the world. 

The European railway train is a clumsy affair. 
There is no passage from coach to coach, except by a 
rail running along the outside, to which the "guard " 



TOPICS OF THE TIME. 



491 



— still the old stage-coach designation— clings at the 
risk of his life, passing from window to window. This 
is the only chance he gets to examine tickets, except 
at the stations ; and when he approaches the terminus 
of his road or the end of his trip, he is obliged to stop 
his train in order to take up his tickets. It really 
seems as if great pains had been taken to make every- 
thing as awkward as possible. There is no possibility 
of warming these coaches ; and nothing can be drearier 
or more dangerous to health than a long European 
railway ride in winter. The Russian and the Prussian 
wrap themselves in furs, and there is sometimes, but 
not always, hot water for the feet. A well made-up 
American railway train, with its baggage-car, smoking- 
saloon, its Pullman palace or sleeping-car, and its 
half-dozen — more or less — long, light, well-ventilated 
rooms, seating fifty persons each, with a free passage 
through all, from the locomotive to the tail of the 
train — all these cars heated by hot-water pipes, or hot 
air during the winter — with a bell-rope communicating 
with the engine within the reach of every passenger, 
and with water to drink passed at intervals by waiters 
who expect no fee and get none — all this furnishes 
about as strong a contrast to the European train as it 
is possible to conceive. The American compartment 
car is not an imitation of the English coach, and the 
dearest and best seats are in the largest compartment. 
We learn that the American sleeping-cars are soon to 
be introduced into Europe, and that they are to be 
built in America. It is impossible that the introduc- 
tion of these cars should not revolutionize and reform 
the railway carriages of Europe. Whatever advan- 
tage Europe may claim in its railway system, we cer- 
tainly are very far ahead of them in our railway car- 
riages. We are equally in advance of them in the 
men we employ to conduct and manage our trains. 
We never saw in Europe the conductor of a railway 
train who would not gladly accept a sixpence, and po- 
litely make a low bow for it, in consideration of offi- 
cial courtesies and accommodations ; and we never saw 
an American railroad conductor to whom we would 
dare to offer money. He acknowledges himself to be 
in no sense a menial, and he would receive the proffer 
of a fee as an insult. The American conductor is 
usually a "well-to-do," intelligent, gentlemanly per- 
son, with a fair place in society, a great deal of popu- 
lar consideration, and as good a claim to it as is en- 
joyed by the captains of our ocean steamers. They 
have horses and watches and services of plate present- 
ed to them, with appropriate speeches, by admiring 
groups of friends, and they constitute a class of favor- 
ite public servants whose families stand well in the 
world. 

The luxury of railway travel is only to be had in 
America. Railway travel cannot be called luxurious 
anywhere else. With our palace, sleeping, and hotel 
cars, each costing as much as a whole train of Euro- 
pean coaches, we can challenge comparison with any 
country in the world. With better management at 
our stations, and the banishment of beggars and ped- 



dlers from our trains — peddlers of all such articles as are 
not needed for comfort or pleasant employment — we 
should find ourselves with little to learn from our neigh- 
bors, concerning the building, equipment, and opera- 
tion of these great highways of modern intercourse 
and commerce. 



DRESSING THE GIRLS. 

The complaint made by certain women, and by cer- 
tain men on behalf of women, that the provisions for 
woman's education are not equal to those for the edu- 
cation of men, has about as much foundation as other 
complaints from the same sources, and has no more. 
If there are any institutions for educating young men 
that are better furnished and more efficient than Vassar 
and Mount Holyoke and Rutgers, and other colleges 
that could be mentioned, are for the education of 
young women, we do not know where they are located. 
The public school systems of every State of the Union 
open to both sexes every advanced department alike ; 
and when we come to the highest class of private 
schools, the provisions made for girls are incomparably 
superior to those made for boys. We do not know 
of a single boys' school in the United States that is 
the equal in all respects of scores, if not hundreds, of 
schools devoted to the education and culture of young 
women. The model school for young women has be- 
come already the highest achievement of our civiliza- 
tion. 

When we bring within four walls, beneath a single 
roof, from fifty to one hundred young women, who 
from year's end to year's end are in the constant so- 
ciety of the best teachers that money can procure; 
who are instructed in every branch of learning that 
they may desire, and are taught every fine art for 
which they have any aptitude ; who are feasted with 
concerts and readings and social reunions, and are led 
into every walk of culture for which their richly- 
freighted time gives leisure ; who move among tasteful 
appointments, and lodge in good rooms, and eat at 
bountiful tables, and are subjected to every purifying 
and refining influence that Christian love and thought- 
fulness can bring to bear upon them, we are prepared 
to show about as strong a contrast to the average 
boys' school, academy, and college, as it is possible to 
imagine. Yet we paint no fancy picture. It is drawn 
from the literal reality. There are thousands of 
American young women in schools like this which we 
describe, supported there at an expense greater by 
from twenty-five to fifty per cent, than the average 
amount devoted to young men of corresponding ages 
in first-class institutions. It costs from one thousand 
to two thousand dollars a year to support a girl at 
these schools — including the expense of dress — and 
men all over the United States, who have the means 
to do it, are educating their daughters in this way and 
at this cost. The truth is, that there are no such pro- 
visions made for men as there are for women. They 
are obliged to get their education in cheaper schools 
and in a rougher way. 



492 



THE OLD CABINET. 



It is because the education of girls is so expensive 
and has become so much of a burden, that we write 
this article. To pay for a single girl' s schooling and 
support at school a sum which is quite competent to 
support in comfort a small family — a sum greater than 
the average income of American families — is a severe 
tax on the best-filled purse. It can be readily seen, 
however, that the school itself neither receives nor 
makes too much money. The extraordinary expense 
for many girls is in the matter of dress. It is a shame 
to parents and daughters alike that there are a great 
many young women in American boarding-schools 
whose dress costs a thousand dollars a year, and even 
more than that sum. The effect of this over-dressing 
on the spirit and manners of those who indulge in it, 
as well as on those who are compelled to economical 
toilets, is readily apprehended by women, if not by 
men. This extravagant dressing is an evil which 
ought to be obviated in some way. How shall it be 
done ? America is full of rich people — of people so 
freshly in the possession of money that they know of 
no way by which to express their wealth except through 
lavish display. They build fine houses, they buy showy 
equipages, and then burden themselves with dress and 
jewelry. Human nature in a young woman is, per- 
haps, as human as it is anywhere, and so there comes 



to be a certain degree of emulation or competition in 
dress among school-girls, and altogether too much 
thought is given to the subject, — to a subject which in 
school should absorb very little thought. 

We know of but one remedy for this difficulty, and 
that is a simple uniform. We do not know why it is 
not just as well for girls to dress in uniform as for 
boys. There are many excellent schools in England 
where the girls dress in uniform throughout the entire 
period spent in their education. We believe that a 
uniform dress is the general habit in Catholic schools 
everywhere. By dressing in uniform, the thoughts of 
all the pupils are released from the consideration of 
dress ; there is no show of wealth, and no confession 
of poverty. Girls from widely-separated localities 
and classes come together, and stand or fall by scholar- 
ship, character, disposition, and manners. The term 
of study could be lengthened by the use of the money 
that would thus be saved ; and while a thousand con- 
siderations favor such a change, we are unable to 
think of one that makes against it. There is no vir- 
tue and no amiable characteristic of young women 
that would not be relieved of a bane and nursed into 
healthy life by the abandonment of expensive dress at 
school. Who will lead the way in this most desirable 
reform ? 



«»<<*► 



THE OLD CABINET. 



There are secret drawers not a few in the Old 
Cabinet, but there is only one that keeps its secret 
from me. I have tried every devisable means of open- 
ing it without injury to the Cabinet itself, and each has 
failed. In vain have all the adjoining apartments been 
removed. Through a small hole near the top of the nar- 
row box, darning-needles and pieces of bent wire have 
been thrust and twisted ; but neither pushing, pressing, 
nor probing has been of the slightest avail. It wob- 
bles, but slides not out. 

Wimple keeps a ribbon-shop down town, and cher- 
ishes a tender passion for old furniture and relics of 
every kind. So when I told Wimple my trouble he 
gladly came to the rescue, and spent a whole morning 
in quest of the hidden spring. He lifted one end of 
the Old Cabinet out from the wall (profaning without 
remorse that immemorial strip of cobwebbed gloom), 
took a board from its back, and found no clue to the 
mystery. The pliant darning-needle and the crooked 
wire were as ineffectual in his fingers as they had been 
in mine. 

That was a good while ago. Of late I have almost 
given up the search. A chisel would settle the ques- 
tion in a twinkling. But I have come to the conclu- 
sion that it is rather pleasanl to have a mystery within 
hand-grasp. I am afraid that if I should some day ac- 
cidentally hit upon the "open sesame," it would not 
be without a pang of regret. I like to dream that here 
hides the key to my Spanish Castle. If the daylight 



should be let in — at last, instead of yellow parchments, 
packages of musty letters, or golden curls tied with 
faded blue ribbons, — I might find nothing, 

This last night of December I fancy the New Year 
lies cuddled in the secret drawer. If such a thing were 
possible, would it be worth while to take it out and 
examine it ? I wonder if I could bear the vision. I 
wonder if the jewel would glow with life and hope, or 
turn to ashes in my hand. 

I suppose it is best to read the book of one's life 
line by line and page by page. If in Wilfrid Cumber- 
mede we had foreseen, from the beginning, the terrible 
"taking off" of Charley — the story would have ap- 
peared utterly cruel and miserable. But reading along 
the pathway of the chapters, when we are led, finally, 
into the presence of the tragedy, we are pained but 
not shocked. We grasp the meaning of it all. The 
sunset sky is lurid, but full of unutterable glory. 



Why poke and why pry ! 

Let the veil hang before us !— 
If to-morrow we die, 

To know it would bore us. 

Here's to gold — and a kiss — 

In a beaker o'erflowing : 
But the chief earthly bliss 

Is the joy of not knowing. 

But I think that is rather a devilish way of putting 



THE OLD CABINET. 



493 



it. I don't think ignorance of the future is a thing 
to make one reckless. And there can only be joy in 
not knowing, when we remember that Somewhere it is 
every bit known. 

Yes — let the dark drawer keep its secret. I don't 
know, though, whether I should be altogether satisfied 
if I thought I should never be able to find the way 
into it. 

Theodosia ! will you please lend me that darning- 
needle ! 



We dropped in on the Academy Exhibition the 
other afternoon — the Critic and I. I confess I was a 
good deal disappointed myself, although I had seen 
other winter Exhibitions, had heard hard things said 
about this, and was prepared for rather a slender show. 
But I think the Critic was severe. He called it a 
"fraud," and a "howling wilderness," and a "dis- 
grace." 

"But, my dear fellow," I protested, "you know 
it's not the grand exhibition. Besides, people want 
their pictures at home at Christmas time, — and there 
are the shops and the Palette. Perhaps they'll come 
out all right yet — 'falling back for a Spring,' as Mi- 
cawber said." 

" Of course it isn't the grand exhibition ; but it's an 
-exhibition, and a sorry one too. After all, there are 
pictures here from many of the leading men, as well as 
from the rank and file ; but where can you find a sin- 
gle fresh idea ? how much honest, patient work or high 
and intelligent aim is there? How much advance 
have they made, — since they have had this Academy 
building, for instance ? 

" As for portraits, and we're supposed to be strong 
in that line, — well, there are two fine things by Ames; 
that Rembrandt attempt isn't a failure; Ryder's 
' Study' is strong and good — and what else ? — Hunt- 
ingtons? Pshaw ! one tires of stately insipidities." 

" Well— but look at that ' Shylock and Jessica! ' " 

41 By a foreign artist ! " 

" What about landscape, then ? See that rich, mas- 
terly Kensett — " 

"Painted in 1856." 

" At any rate, you recognize the merit in Miss Rose's 
'Study of Flowers,' Samuel Colman's 'Sketch from 
Nature,' Tiffany's 'Street Scene in Algiers,' Lawrie's 
' Autumn on the Hudson Highlands,' Shattuck's 
' White Hills in October,' Bierstadt's ' In the Rocky 
Mountains,' and De Haas's 'Farragut's Fleet passing 
the Forts below New Orleans.' And there is Page's 
picture of 'Admiral Farragut's Triumphant Entry 
into Mobile Bay.' " 

"Triumphant humbug! a peck of talent and a 
bushel of whim-whams ; Titian with the Titian left 
out ; affectation and ' the lampblack of ages !' " 

" Tut— tut ! You forget the head of Phillips in the 
Spring Exhibition. I know you praised that, and I 
know you praised the splendid group of the Professor's 



Children, and a good many things by ' the old man 
eloquent.' You ought to remember that, whatever 
you may think about it, there are connoisseurs Eng- 
lish as well as American, who find more of Titian in 
Page than in any modern. 

"As for our advance in art, I am sure there are 
many more and much better pictures painted now than 
there were twenty years ago. Suppose you pick up 
the magazine of the month and say, ' Pooh ! Where 
is there any evidence here of advance since Shak- 
speare ? ' " 

So I closed the mouth of my friend the Critic, and 
(talking very earnestly to him as we passed through 
the corridor) hurried him into the street, and left him 
waiting on the corner for a car. 

" It's the old croak," said I to myself as I sauntered 
toward the ferry. 

But is it altogether croak ? Let us set the Critic 
the example of charity by our charity toward the 
Critic. 



I read the other day, in a leading literary journal 
of England, notices of two late American books. 
One of the volumes described was a series of sketches 
of life in a foreign land, remarkable at least for fresh- 
ness, force, and grace of style, and probably unsur- 
passed in vivid, picturesque, and original portraitures 
of that life. The other volume was a collection of 
essays, by an acknowledged master of English, subtile 
and exquisite in thought and expression. Yet in the 
mention of neither was there evidence of the slightest 
appreciation of any one of its peculiar merits. 

This instance is not cited for the purpose of showing 
that the mother country is tardy in the recognition of 
transatlantic talent. I do not know that that could 
be proved. 

I merely say that the paragraphs referred to are 
valueless, in that their author failed to appreciate ex- 
cellence. Not that appreciation of excellence is the 
only valuable part of criticism, and not that there are 
no cases where this appreciation is rendered dangerous 
by a lack of acuteness in the other direction. But 
certainly no man is competent to publicly criticise a 
given work of art unless he is able to comprehend its 
beauties as well as its defects. 

First acknowledge, with Guillemin : The Sun is the 
life of the world. After that, you may without blame 
point out its spots with all possible minuteness. What 
right has a man to print a ' notice ' of a book by 
Lamb or Warner, if he is capable of declaring " the 
author should not have attempted to be witty," or 
what is his criticism worth after he has printed it ? 
"There is, in truth," Lord Houghton says, "no 
critic of poetry but the man who enjoys it, and the 
amount of gratification felt is the only just measure of 
criticism." 

As God is the Supreme Artist, so is He the Supreme 
Critic. Therefore is He the Model Critic. Let us 
not forget that, O brothers of the pen! Does not He 
know our works, line and volume, the evil as well as 



494 



HOME AND SOCIETY. 



the good? And how would it be for us in His sight, if 
He looked not "largely with lenient eyes ?" 

But I do not forget that day when the money- 
changers were scourged from His temple. 



This city is in less danger from the machinations 



of rogues than from the rascality of good men. 
What we of the metropolis have to fear in the fu- 
ture is not so much the snares of knaves as the al- 
most imperceptible daily compromises with conscience 
on the part of the better members of the commu- 
nity. 



HOME AND SOCIETY. 



THE HEATING OF OUR HOUSES. 

Between warming a house and "heating" it — 
the equivalent phrase in these days of modern improve- 
ment — lies a difference wide as that which separates 
health from disease, and comfort from discomfort. 

In the old times of wide chimneys and ample back- 
logs the terms were not convertible. Houses then 
were never heated, and could scarcely be spoken of as 
warmed, save in a limited and Pickwickian sense. 
Stratifications of cold air lay along the floors as 
permanent institutions. Window-cracks and door- 
edges let in draughts which shivered up the spines of 
men, and made the candles wave and flicker ; the long 
carpets rose in gusty lines whenever the wind blew (and 
it blew pretty much all the time — or seemed to), and 
every part of the human body, which was not imme- 
diately toasting before the blazing hickory, was con- 
scious of a slight, invariable chill. 

This condition of things, it must be confessed, was 
not altogether comfortable. To the young and feeble, 
to weak throats and delicate lungs, it was even deadly. 
Year by year the red flag of consumption flaunted 
amid winter snows, and tender lives succumbed to rig- 
orous climate. But for sound lungs and vigorous 
bodies the cracks and the windy chimneys had one 
bracing and admirable result : they forced into every- 
day use that unexceptionable atmosphere, forty miles 
high, which, as the author of the Out-Door Papers 
tells us, " Nature is forever urging upon us — for if a 
pressure of fourteen pounds to the square inch is not 
urgency, what is ? " — and which we sedulously exclude 
from our " improved " homes. And it is questionable 
whether the State does not lose more citizens by rea- 
son of unduly heated rooms and vitiated air to-day 
than ever it did from the imperfect building and 
warmth of fifty years ago. 

Entering the door of one of our " comfortable " 
modern houses, what meets us? A puff of scorched 
air from a register, redolent of burning iron, — or of 
boiled air from a steam heater. The thermometer is 
standing at about 74. We advance to the parlor. 
There matters are even worse, for no outside cold has 
entered with momentary freshness. The plants in the 
window look yellow and forlorn. Ominous cracks 
are visible here and there in the furniture — nay, a 
strip of ornamental veneer has actually split off from 
the piano and lies on the carpet. Our hostess, coming 
forward to greet us, is wrapped in a little shawl, and 
remarks that it is an awful day •- that she hasn' t been 



out, of course, but even in the warm house has felt 
the cold. In effect, she looks blue and pinched. 
Whereat we wonder, for the room feels insufferably 
hot ; but we place ourselves beside her where she sits 
cowering over the register, and conversation goes on 
with what spirit it may under these circumstances. 

At the end of an hour we are surprised to find our- 
selves a little chilly. That is, our head is hot enough 
— a little too hot, perhaps — but both hands and feet 
are cold, and we are inclined to agree with our friend 
when she opines that " the girl " must have let the fire- 
go down. But glancing at the thermometer, we stare 
to see that the mercury has risen instead of falling. It 
is now at 8o°. And, after all, why should we won- 
der ? Nature is inevitable in her retributions, and we, 
no less than the poor geranium in the window, must 
suffer the penalty of a deranged circulation when we 
violate her laws of temperature. 

Bad enough, if this were all ! One can live and be 
useful under the trifling discomfort of cold extremities, 
as our worthy forefathers sufficiently proved. But 
how much of life and of life's best energies, of 
thought, of wit, of good-humor, of aspiration, goes 
down through those holes in the floor into nether si- 
lence? As from some Kobold's cave, the invisible 
gnomes of the furnace climb, emerge, and steal from 
us the choicest, finest, most intangible part of our- 
selves. No man ever lived and worked his best in a 
room heated over 68° — a sentence we should like to 
engrave in letters of gold on the iron plate of every 
register and the front of every steam heater in the 
land from this day forth and forever. 

The time may come when a perfect system of house- 
warming, one combining healthfulness, comfort, and 
economy, shall be introduced. But certain it is, we 
have none such now. The hot-water furnace, in which 
a large chamber well supplied with fresh air is heated 
by coils of pipe filled with boiling-water, and the 
warmth taken thence and diffused over the house, ap- 
proached more nearly to the ideal than any other in 
all respects save one : it is so costly that only the most 
luxuriously-built mansions can afford to enjoy it. Open 
fires are not sufficient, except in the most moderate 
winter cold, to supply the artificially-stimulated de- 
mand for heat made by the human race to-day ; and 
even in the case of that cheapest of fuels, coke, they 
cost more than the furnace. The big base-burning 
hall-stoves, which make many of our country-houses 
so comfortable, take room which cannot be afforded 



HOME AND SOCIETY. 



495 



in city entries, where each inch of space is precious. 
And the air-tight variety — warranted, by a good dea- 
con who dealt in the article in the days of our youth, 
to burn up every bit of a noxious gas which, as he was 
informed, abounded in the air, and the name of which 
was — oxygen! — what can be said in its favor? It is 
best left to silence, and to that necessity on which it 
bases its sole claim to human toleration. 

There remain, then, for the average house, only the 
hot-air furnace and the steam heater. Both have in- 
separable evils connected with them, both advantages 
equally inseparable. In one, abundant moisture is pro- 
vided ; in the other, an unfailing supply, barring acci- 
dents, of outer air. And either can be made tolerably 
comfortable and sufficiently wholesome only by intel- 
ligent watchfulness, by strict regulation of heat, by 
observation of thermometers, by periodical care of 
evaporators and water-pans, by renewing the air of 
rooms through open windows, and that perpetual vigi- 
lance which is the price of. most of the good things we 
enjoy, and, above all, of that healthful food which we 
consume with our lungs, and without which we can en- 
joy nothing. 



INDIA SHAWLS. 

"If you want to look like the town poor," a lady 
once said in our hearing, " you have only to equip 
yourself with the most expensive and elegant things that 
are to be had — with a brocade-silk, a Leghorn bonnet, 
and a camels' -hair shawl." 

A certain truth lurks at bottom of this laughing 
satire. Few things can be rustier or snufher of effect 
than some of the rich old-fashioned brocades ; Leg- 
horn bonnets, being too precious to chop and change 
with every passing gale of fashion, are apt to look un- 
graceful and passes by their second summer; while 
only the experienced eye can detect the real beauty and 
charm of a priceless, antique-patterned, whity-gray 
India Cashmere. 

But beauty is there for whoever will see. All East- 
ern fabrics and manufactures possess a positive and 
extrinsic charm of their own for persons of an Oriental 
turn of mind, simply by coming from the East. There 
is spell and fascination in their very quaintness; in 
the improbabilities and vagaries of pattern ; in the dull, 
odd tints ; the soft, flexible textures ; the impress of a 
civilization and a life widely removed from our own. 
Turkey rugs, India china, Canton crapes, Chinese fans, 
Japanese pictures, and lacquers — odd, ugly, queer as 
they may be — are full of suggestions ; and he who has 
once come under their influence and bewitchment, will 
choose them for evermore in preference to all the tri- 
umphs of European luxury ; to Sevres porcelain, Au- 
busson carpets, to the velvets of Genoa, the silks of 
Lyons, to buhl and marquetry and mosaic. 

Especially is this true with regard to shawls. Peo- 
ple may laugh as they will at color or pattern ; may 
call the one hideous, the other ungraceful, and declare 
that, for their part, they see no beauty in them — ex- 
cept that conferred by price ; and yet, so long as 



Eastern weavers sit year in and out, tracing with brown 
fingers their unseen pattern, intricate, and gorgeous, 
and strange, so long the India shawls are sure to main- 
tain rank as the choicest and most highly-prized wrap:, 
which female shoulders in this Western world can hope 
to possess. 

And it is this permanence of value which makes 
them so well worth having. Mantillas, jackets, pale- 
tots, scarfs, all other shawls even, except those of the 
finest lace, have their day and cease to be. Cost they 
never so much, one year, or at utmost two or three, 
finds them discarded for a newer mode, and cast into 
the limbo of by-gone and forgotten things. But the 
Cashmere which has been carefully worn and kept' from 
moth is as good at the end of twenty seasons as when 
first purchased. It is always in fashion, even when 
grandmamma's aged shoulders have transferred it to 
Flora's younger ones ; even when fresher tints have 
crept slowly into the far-off manufactories whence it 
came, and the brown fingers which wove its texture 
are crumbled into dust. More than that — the dull 
tints have value all their own ; they bespeak, as Mrs. 
Grundy would say, "family." And so long as the 
threads hold together the shawl has marketable value. 
Like a diamond, it is in one sense an investment — that 
is, you can take it whenever you like to one of the 
great emporiums — the Compagnie des hides, in Paris, 
for example, or our own Stewart's or Arnold's, and 
receive for it 'a fair price, based on its original value 
and the more or less of wear and tear it has suffered 
at the hands of time. 

There are many grades and varieties of the Cash- 
mere, or, as it is sometimes called, " camels' -hair " 
shawl — from the came/-goa.t, of whose wool it is 
woven. The prices range as variously, from the su- 
perbest efforts of the loom to the " Rampore cheddar" 
which is shoddy of camels' -hair, and costs $25 in gold, 
and the small narrow-bordered squares worn by young 
girls, which are worth from $50 to $100. Of the less 
expensive kinds there seems nothing, on the whole, so 
well worth having as the striped long-shawls, which 
are to be had of good quality for $75, and which fur- 
nish a warm and handsome wrap for a lifetime. Of 
the choice grades, $200 or $300 will procure a fine 
and beautiful long-shawl, bordered all over except for 
a small square center. The antique patterns, which to 
the eye of taste are infinitely handsomer than the 
modern, cost a little less. The sum sounds considera- 
ble ; but when one balances years and perceives how 
much money is annually spent in providing temporary 
substitutes for this one large investment, which is not 
only a possession but an heir-loom as well, the apparent 
extravagance becomes a no less apparent economy. 
With which contradiction we conclude. 



TWO NEW PARLOR GAMES. 

Sitting round the fire on a cold, stormy evening, 
not long since, with a party of little people who longed 
for a frolic, somebody proposed to "play games," 
which, accordingly, we did, and among the rest two 



49 6 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS ABROAD. 



new ones, which turned out so amusing that perhaps 
some of the young readers of Scribner's Monthly 
may like to hear of, and perhaps try them. 

The first was the Game of Degrees. It is' a little 
puzzling at first, and requires rapid thinking ; but, like 
the waiting of double acrostics, when the mind once 
gets waked up to it the practice grows easy, and you 
invent so many things that you can hardly stop. It is 
played all up and down the room ; every one goes to 
work at once and gives out his puzzle like a conun- 
drum. The idea is to find a word which by some 
trick of pronunciation or spelling can be extended into 
another word, or perhaps two, which represent the 
three degrees of comparison — positive, comparative, 
and superlative. Thus somebody says, " My positive 
is an evil habit, my comparative is better ; " every one 
guesses, and the words turn out to be "bet — better." 
Or, " My positive is always on top, my comparative 
is always fast, and my superlative is always successful " 
— which on explanation turns out to be Dec(k) — Dex- 
ter — Dexterous. 



The other game is called "Artists and Critics." 
Slips of paper and lead-pencils must first be distributed 
to all present. Then each person makes a sketch at 
the top of the paper, representing anything he pleases, 
as ambiguously as possible, and at the bottom of the 
paper writes what he intended it for, and folds it over a^ 
in the Game of Consequences. The papers are passed 
to the next in turn, and each person, after scrutinizing 
the design, writes what he thinks it means, and folds 
that over. This goes on until the papers have made 
the tour of the circle, and then all are opened and 
read aloud, — first the real meaning of the drawing, 
then the guesses, which are sometimes very amusing. 
We recollect one picture meant to represent Napoleon 
as he crosses the Alps, in the Second Reader, which 
by a series of successive examiners was pronounced to 
be "Chicago in Flames," " A Madonna, or some- 
thing of that sort," "A Brig in a Cyclone," and 
" Mrs. Connolly Burning the Vouchers." This game 
is very good fun; try it, dear boys and girls every- 
where. 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS ABROAD. 



'The Drama has again come to its rights the present 
-winter in Paris, and other species of literary entertain- 
ment have been forced to accept a second place. Its 
votaries have returned to it with an eagerness that 
proclaims how much they have suffered on the meager 
food offered to them during the excitement of the past 
year. For the stage in France feels that it has indeed 
lost a year, since what little was presented in the in- 
terim seemed more like a sermon than an enlivening 
entertainment. But the recess appears to have given to 
the period now opening works of more solid worth 
than any which have graced the French classic stage 
for years. For the famous "Theatre Francais" dur- 
ing the last two decades has been largely influenced by 
the prevailing taste of the Tuileries, notwithstanding 
its boast, that in its love for classic purity it worships 
neither school nor dynasty. But it has been pretty 
evident to those striving for admission to these coveted 
boards that the " Rue Richelieu " could only be suc- 
cessfully reached by those who would make Musset 
their model and arbiter in taste. 

The deep melancholy which has left its impress on 
the higher grade of French society now demands a 
drama of a more elevated order, and the frivolous 
light comedy, though it may be pure in sentiment and 
classic in rendering, has therefore been set aside for a 
more fitting season. A marked progress is observed 
among the frequenters of this greatest dramatic 
temple of France in regard to the mise en scene of 
many of the old classic dramas, especially those of 
Moliere. It has been hitherto considered the highest 
profanity to depart in the least from the usual cos- 
. turning according to the spirit of the age in which "the 



piece was conceived, but the present season has wit- 
nessed several marked innovations in this regard. 
Tartuffe, for instance, who had seemed petrified in his 
old-fashioned garb, has suddenly resumed his youth, 
and is no longer the old style of Jesuitical hypocrite. 
He has become a worldly abbe of the modern stamp, 
and quite a fashionable father-confessor ; in this reju- 
venated form he certainly adds to the vivacity of hi? 
style, and approaches our own epoch in interest. And 
as the ice is now broken in this regard, it is quite 
probable that such innovations will be carried still far- 
ther, and give a new phase to the hitherto very con- 
servative and exceedingly aristocratic boards of the 
" Theatre Francais." 

The Germans are taking a great interest in the 
revival of some, or, indeed, of all, the great literary 
heroes of the past. Even the great philosopher 
Fichte is again speaking to his people of the present, 
though for a generation he has received compara- 
tively little attention. Aside from his philosophical 
labors, he was an ardent patriot, and during the gloomy 
years of the French occupation of Germany he pub- 
lished his thrilling addresses to the German nation. 

These discourses have always been cherished by the 
thinkers of the nation, as a sort of political breviary 
and manual for the training and encouragement of 
patriotism. These same thinkers still believe that the 
memorable deeds of 1870 owe much of their spirit 
to the immortal appeals of Fichte, and there has 
been a loud call for them in a popular shape, that 
they might be accessible to the German youth of the 
present period. This call has been responded to by 
no less a personage than the son of Fichte, who has 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS ABROAD. 



497 



revised and annotated his father's labors and published 
them in a cheap form, to teach the rising generation 
that a great philosopher can be enthusiastic as a patriot. 
This newly-awakened desire to live again with the 
great lights of the past is showing itself in the long 
list of publications of many poets and scholars who 
have for a time been consigned to the dusty shelves of 
public and private collections. Several large houses 
are now engaged in the publication of complete collec- 
tions of national literature, at a price so low that the 
humblest can command them, and in a few years the 
poorest student may have in a corner of his study his 
complete miniature library of all the German classics. 

Music in Germany has received a popular im- 
pulse from the excitement of the war, but the higher 
grade of tone-masters complain greatly that the old 
idols are being sadly neglected by their former worship- 
ers. In this spirit, the well-known composer Hiller 
has just published a valuable collection which he 
entitles The Tone-Life of Our Times. It is of so 
popular a character that many a maestro will doubtless 
turn up his nose at it in contempt, but the cultivated 
and intelligent public are receiving it with enthusiasm, 
not solely for its genial nature, but in the conviction 
that it will guide and refine popular taste, and be 
especially attractive to the youth of the country. It 
is in the form of a series of essays, with headings like 
these: "Too Much Music!" "Souvenirs of Bach, 
Rossini, Beethoven," etc., all of which are perfect 
masterpieces of facile and genial description. 

The Great Church Question is naturally mak- 
ing itself felt in the literature of the day, and this in 
a style more popular than ever before, to satisfy the 
newly-awakened interest of the masses in the great 
conflict that is now agitating all Germany. Rau has 
just published a work bearing the title, The Papacy ; 
its Origin, its Success, and its Fall. It gives a very 
clear and succinct history of the Christian Church, 
from its commencement dov\m to the present day. It 
treats of the character and history of the Popes with 
ungloved hands, as does also another work by Huber, 
the consort and right hand of Dollinger. This is 
called The Spider of the Later an, and gives an inter- 
esting account of the way in which the papal spider 
weaves its webs for its victims. Then we have a 
History of Jesuitism, by Julius Roth, which is a very 
compact and clear description of the doings, pres- 
ent status, and aims of the order. And finally, even 
the famous historian Menzel has entered this field with 
a volume called Rome's Injustice. Menzel, once quite 
liberal, has for several years been rather reactionary in 
his tendency, and has thus lost favor with his liberal 
countrymen, but the valiant battle which he in this 
book makes against the demands and doings of the 
Jesuits will completely restore him to popular favor. 

Friedrich von Raumer is one of the most re- 
markable and estimable characters at present adorning 
the highest ranks of German literature and science. 
He is now over ninety years of age, and has just re- 
tired from active labors as Professor of History in the 
Vol. III.— 32 



University of Berlin, of which institution he has for 
very many years formed one of the principal attrac- 
tions. As historical author and teacher he has no liv- 
ing peer in Germany. He has devoted his long life 
mainly to the history of the illustrious House of the 
Hohenstaufens, in which the old German Empire found 
its glory and its last long sleep, from which it has just 
now awakened. And this awakening inspires the old 
veteran to a new edition of his life-work, in which he 
proudly says what no other living man perhaps can say 
regarding his works : "Seventy years! ago I began 
to study the history of the Hohenstaufens." And 
during more than two generations he has labored in this 
work with an unparalleled love and devotion. More 
than half a century ago the first volume was received 
with acclamation by the entire nation, and immediately 
took rank with the highest literary aristocracy, and 
made its author's name a revered one wherever the 
language is read. For seventy years he has cherished 
this darling child of his genius, and tried in each suc- 
cessive edition to introduce everything that was needed 
to make it perfect. So that the only thing that is new 
in this edition is its dedication to the new German 
Emperor, containing the patriarchal admonition that 
he may be inclined to study the glories and errors of 
the past, and profit by them to the upbuilding of a 
realm that may endure forever. Von Raumer has 
ever been a consistent liberal, and has fought many a 
battle for liberty in his long career. The scholars and 
patriots of the nation now regard his declining years 
with enthusiastic devotion. Thousands of the foreign 
students who were accustomed to visit his lecture-room 
remember him with great affection, and none more so 
than the group of Americans who formed part of his 
class. 

" Badinguet" is the nickname now almost univer- 
sally applied to the ex-Emperor, since it has become 
fashionable and allowable in Paris to abuse him. And 
it may be pleasing to learn that his majesty came by 
it in rather a romantic manner. Everybody knows 
that after the failure of his last effort to dethrone 
Louis Philippe by popular revolution, this monarch 
imprisoned him in the Fortress of Ham in Northern 
France, from which he finally escaped, and in this 
ingenious way : The ceilings of his rooms were much 
in need of a plasterer, who was finally ordered one 
day to come and repair them. Just that day the at- 
tending physician and fellow-prisoner of the Prince an- 
nounced that he was quite sick and confined to his bed, 
and that the plasterer could therefore only work in his 
study. This artisan bore the name of Badinguet, and 
was privy to a plot. In an unobserved moment the 
Prince and the mason exchanged characters, and while 
the latter crept into bed as a sick prince, the bogus 
Badinguet put on the clothes of the workman, placed 
the mortar-hod and tools on his shoulder, an old clay 
pipe in his mouth, and passed unsuspected across the 
prison court, before the trampling sentinels, out to lib- 
erty and to friends, who hastened with him in a carriage 
to<he Belgian frontier, which they reached before the 



493 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS ABROAD. 



plot was discovered. When Louis returned to Paris, 
years afterward, it was remembered that he was once 
the plasterer " Badinguet," and the epithet was ap- 
plied to him furtively in the clubs and elsewhere ; and 
now he is a dull subject who does not know who Ba- 
dinguet is. 

"Help for Chicago !" greets our eyes in nearly 
every German journal that we now open. We on this 
side have heard of the work of sympathy in most of the 
principal cities, but the feeling extends to nearly every 
hamlet of the land. Chicago is known all over Ger- 
many nearly as well as it is in this country, and there 
is a vague idea among the poorer classes that it is a 
city that owes its wondrous growth to magic. They 
are prepared to believe any story about the charmed 
city that sprang in a generation from the bosom of 
a great marsh. And then Chicago was a fragment of 
the existence of nearly every German, for there is 
scarcely a village or hamlet in the Fatherland which 
had not its representative there. The simple peasantry 
of Europe regarded it as a Teutonic colony with its 
tens of thousands of Germans, and all over the land, 
from the Scandinavian north to the southern borders 
of Bavaria and Austria, there was a feeling that its do- 
main belonged essentially to them. The patriotic ac- 
tion of the Germans of Chicago during the late war, 
in sending cheering words and bags of treasure to as- 
sist their struggling countrymen, knit the bonds still 
more tightly. And thus when the cry came that this 
great city was laid low, and especially the foreign por- 
tion of it, Germany trembled and wept as if one of her 
own children had been overtaken by the dire disaster. 
"Help for Chicago!" then became the watchword, 
and high and low, rich and poor, young and old, made 
it the work of the hour. 

To those who have made the grand tour, and rested 
for a while in the cradle-grave of modern civil- 
ization, there is an intense interest in turning back 
thither their eyes to see what resurrection the new 
political life is doing for Rome. Not now to discuss 
political or ecclesiastical changes, we can look with un- 
qualified pleasure on the activity which the explorations 
and excavations witness. The Italian Government has 
appointed Signor Rosa, so long in charge of the exca- 
vations on the Palatine, as chief superintendent of 
excavations for the Romagna, and given him power 
to excavate where he pleases in the area of the old 
city. He wisely began at once on the Forum Ro- 
manum, the center of Roman greatness, where since 
1835 no extension has been made of the ancient area 
disclosed to view, except two small portions about 
the Column of Phocas and the Basilica Julia. When 
we remember that the Temple of Antoninus and 
Faustina stood on the northern side of the Forum, 
and that it probably extended to the Arch of Janus 
Quadrifrons on the south, those who know Rome will 
conjecture the amount of interest likely to be devel- 
oped by the removal of the rubbish which now en- 
cumbers this classic enclosure. All this space is to be 
cleared away. I 



The works which have fitfully extended the clearing 
of the Baths of Caracalla are also carried on rapidly. 
They have already elucidated much of the mystery 
which rested over the uses of some of those immense 
chambers, and disclosed some of the machinery by 
which the rooms were heated, with mosaics, etc. But 
what will doubtless give a richer harvest of artistic 
interest is the clearing up of the space around the 
Portico of Octavia, one of the foci of the artistic 
activity of the imperial days, and one which, from its 
having been early covered by the debris of the devas- 
tations of Rome by the Gothic and other barbaric 
invaders, is more likely to have covered in and pro- 
tected art-treasures than any other part of the old city. 
The Italian Government has bought up the houses 
around the Pescheria, a vile, filthy, and malarious 
neighborhood, and will demolish them, clearing away 
the rubbish of a score of conflagrations, sackings, and 
bombardments, little and great, down to the antique 
soil. 

Another project, long dreamed of and once unsuc- 
cessfully tried, is the excavation of the bed of the 
Tiber, the depository of the treasures of Rome in 
every case of most imminent danger since the days of 
Porsenna. What mines of wealth may not be hidden 
there — wealth of material and of thought ! A com- 
mittee has been formed, at the head of which is Sigr. 
Castellani, which hopes to have the direction of this 
work. On hearing of this plan, Rothschild sent for 
Castellani, to manifest his interest in it, saying, in the 
laconic way of the men who can do what they will, 
"My money-chest is at your disposal, only I wish to 
have to do simply with you." When one thinks of 
what may be hidden in the bed of that river, from the 
sack of Brennus to the day of the Constable Bour- 
bon ; of the most precious things thrown in hot haste 
from the bridges and walls, lest the invader might be 
enriched thereby ; the images of the gods and the 
caskets of inestimable antique value ; the seven-branch- 
ed candlestick and the sacred vessels of the pagan 
gods, the most torpid imagination must kindle with 
the thought of what a few years will add to the archae- 
ological and artistic interest of the Eternal City. 

There is a curious incident in the history of early 
German art, in the bringing together of two pictures 
reputedly by Holbein in the Dresden exhibition of 
that artist's pictures. It would seem that the famous 
Madonna of the Dresden Gallery has a replica at 
Darmstadt which challenges the Dresden picture to a 
trial of title. Each picture has a clique which swears 
to the genuineness of its favorite, and the critical world 
is divided. Several of the foremost Dresden artists 
have finally made a pronunciamiento recognizing the 
Darmstadt as the original, but claiming the Dresden 
picture as a replica by the master himself, although in- 
ferior in execution of details — the point which is per- 
haps the most perfectly characteristic of Holbein, whose 
painting of details was par excellence his most distin- 
guishing feature. The claim is based on' the difference 
in the design, and a superior beauty and expression of 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS ABROAD. 



499 



the head to those of the Darmstadt picture. That is 
to say, the picture is claimed to be by the master be- 
cause it is better in some respects, and worse in others, 
than a picture admitted to be his by all the disputants. 
Does it not rather indicate that an artist whose name 
is unknown in relation to this work, has produced a 
work in the vein of Holbein, which, while it lacks his 
firm, precise, and masterly handling, has given more 
of the essentials of art, and who, perhaps following 
him, is lost entirely to fame ? The history of art is full 
of such surmises, some at last proved, of works which 
have been the only evidence preserved of the existence 
of the masters ; as, in later times, when the facility of 
recording facts has kept many from oblivion, which, 
without printing, would have been lost, instances have 
become known of painters who have caught the man- 
ner of men of high repute so well that their pictures 
pass current for years as the work of the known men, 
while their real authors are never heard of. There are 
two pictures exactly alike in the possession of one of 
the cities of Holland, one by Massys, the other either 
by him or a copy of the original by some other painter, 
for the original of which a large price has been offered 
by an English collector, when it shall be ascertained 
which of the two it is, which the owners thus far have 
been unable to do, the copy having an inconsiderable 
value, although in every inherent quality it is indistin- 
guishable from the true canvas. How far this result 
would obtain if either of the two so-called Holbeins 
were to be discovered to be the work of an unknown 
man, it is impossible to say, as neither of them is in 
the market ; but that, despite all the superior beauty 
and art of the Dresden picture, it would lose value im- 
mensely in the eyes of its possessors, if it were discov- 
ered to be by a man of little repute, there is no doubt. 
So much of the value of a work of art is merely auto- 
graphic, that, on a moderate estimate, the work of the 
great artists would merely bring one-tenth their present 
value were they, by the discovery of a monogram hith- 
erto unseen, found to be the productions of men we 
have never learned to reverence. A curious case of 
this occurred in the exhibition of pictures of deceased 
masters, held by the Royal Academy of England last 
winter. A picture, believed by the owner to be a 
Turner, was exhibited in a place of honor, received 
the most unqualified praise of leading critics, and was 
held of great value, being currently accepted as an ex- 
cellent example of the master. Before the exhibition 
had closed it was known to be an imitation by a man 
whose name was unknown to the public. Pyne, the 
English landscape painter, was a most dexterous imi- 
tator of the old landscape painters, and once painted 
an imitation Ruysdael, which he sold as such. A few 
years later he was asked by a dealer to come and see a 
fine Ruysdael in his possession, and recognized in it his 
old imitation. He assured the dealer of the origin of 
the picture, and proved to him by concealed marks that 



he had painted it, notwithstanding which it was still 
held and finally sold as a Ruysdael. 

How much, then, of our love of art is personal to 
the painter — due to the effect of an imaginative pres- 
ence of the man in his work, and how much is genuine 
artistic passion, and how much less still love of nature, 
which is the book of art ! An artist, to be judged 
fairly and honestly, must go incognito, not like Haroun 
al Raschid, to hear his praises said to his face by those 
unknowing to whom they speak, but being seen and 
known as some other unknown, be judged by his work 
and not by himself. And such is the intelligence of 
even the most highly educated communities, that, 
once a man is dead and unable to testify to his 
own work, there is no collective opinion that is worth 
having, no public that would not find a supposed 
Raphael great, and an unrecognized one foolish and 
affected. 

This is one of the penalties Art pays for its very 
subtlety and the undemonstrability of its usefulness. 
What can be measured and weighed we can measure 
and weigh the equivalent for ; but those subtlest refin- 
ing agencies, without which no life is complete and no 
society civilized, have no value more than sunshine and 
the air — no care can produce the elements that favor 
their growth, and no pecuniary compensation produce 
them. When the soil and climate seem most adverse 
they spring into a blooming existence, and when court 
and fashion gather round them they wither* and become 
perverted, and the only compensation they have is that 
of becoming the instruments of unappreciating pride, 
whose fostering care is death. Painters sometimes are 
in fashion, but true art never is. The autographic is 
the real element of popularity — the admiration of the 
prophet, not the merit of the revelation. 

The Poles are taking to the study of Dante, al- 
though the genius of the two nations is so unlike that 
one could scarcely look for a love for the " divine 
singer" among the cold Sclaves of the North. But 
genius in its inmost nature is cosmopolitan, and there- 
fore the gifted minds of every nation take an equal 
share of interest in its labors and creations, with no 
question as to what zone they originate in. And thus 
a famous Polish scholar has just given to the world a 
series of lectures on the Divina Commedia. The pri- 
mary intention of Kraszewski has been to lead his 
countrymen into the labyrinths of the creations of 
Dante, and he does this with great enthusiasm and a 
perfect knowledge of his subject. He takes the 
stranger kindly by the hand, and in a labor of love 
leads him into a mighty Cathedral, whose wealth of , 
images at first confuses, but in whose aisles the thought- 
ful traveler with so proficient a guide soon learns to 
distinguish the forms, colors, and characteristic beauties 
of the magnificent edifice. The learned author enters 
into a very interesting discussion of the sources of 
Dante's inspiration. 



5°° 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



WILLIAM HUNT'S PICTURES. 

The trite wisdom of a proverb has sometimes an 
allegorical under-current which is long undiscovered. 
"Truth lies at the bottom of the well," we say, and 
never ask if the words mean more than that truth is 
hard to get at. But looking down to the very bottom 
of the deepest wells, what do we see ? Stars at noon- 
day ! 

Then comes the realist, and says: "The stars are 
visible only at night; of course their light is extin- 
guished by the greater light of the sun : I never saw a 
star at noonday in all my life." 

"No, but don't you wish you could?" retorts Tur- 
ner, or any other master who has seen down to the 
truth. 

We thought of these things while looking last 
month at the exhibition of William Hunt's pictures 
in Boston. Mr. Hunt has never before exhibited a 
collection. We have had single pictures of his, or 
twos or threes, announced by no flourish, and in too 
many cases hung in juxtaposition with pictures whose 
very neighborhood was sufficient to make solemn signi- 
ficant simplicity look, to the careless eye, like com- 
mon-place insignificance. We do not hear larks sing 
while the circus-band is going by at full blast. Hence 
it has com^to pass that William Hunt's work is not 
known as it should be; only the reverent few, who, 
loving art enough to understand its mission, hold it 
separate from French looking-glass and the multipli- 
cation table, know that America has no other painter 
of whose works she is more sure to be proud a 
hundred years hence. 

The first and leading characteristic of Mr. Hunt's 
work is simplicity. The second is not easily designated 
by a single word or phrase : it is a mixture of pathos 
and tenderness, a solemn recognition of the unutterable 
significance of all life, all humanity. 

These are qualities which it needs no knowledge of 
the technics of the* painter's art to feel. These are 
qualities which make themselves felt. When the 
realistic critic comes, saying: " This woman's foot is 
too long. That boy's leg is impossible," we re- 
ply, if we are brave enough : "I don't care. That 
woman is alive. She is waiting in just the same re- 
signed hopelessness with which I myself have waited 
for what did not come. She is my sister. I love her. 
As for that naked boy, he is my own baby just out of 
the bath. I have seen him stand a thousand times in 
just that eager, upreaching attitude, with his little legs 
curiously twisted. I am very sorry if, as you say, the 
bones in the legs are all wrong. But there are mani- 
kins next door which have every bone, tendon, muscle 
in accurate place. You can look in there for legs. I 
shall stay here." Then when the critic goes on: 
"This color is not permanent; these pigments and 
methods are not legitimate," we lose temper, and 
say : " Go to ! Is it a cement of which you are in 



search ? Our family tomb in Mt. Auburn is floored 
with one warranted to last till the day of judgment. 
Here is the maker's card. We wish, for the sake of our 
great -great-grandchildren and their descendants, that 
Mr. Hunt's colors tuere permanent. So far as we are 
concerned they are ; for not till our dying day shall we 
forget the desolate pain of the dark folds in which his 
Hamlet is wrapped. But, by the way, how know you 
in one hour that a color is not permanent? Come to 
us — wherever we are — a hundred years hence, and tell 
us that this Hamlet has ceased to be the picture of 
broken-hearted loneliness, and we will believe you, 
perhaps. As for 'legitimate,' it is a brave word, 
useful in courts. But the father's blood and the 
mother's blood in son's cheeks blazes it to scorn. 
Art as well as wisdom is known of her children." 
"And it is absurd to call these pictures works," goes 
on the critic. " Why not frankly call them sketches, 
when they are evidently done in such haste, left so 
unfinished? " 

Now we are quieter, and reply, pityingly : ' ' Call 
them by any name you like, O man of rule and com- 
pass and crucible. We might quarrel as to the defini- 
tion of the word 'works,' perhaps: only one thing 
is certain of a man's 'works,' i. c, that they will 
'follow him,' whether they be good or whether they 
be evil." Painted in one day, or in two, it is very 
likely that some of these pictures have been. Many of 
Titian's, of Veronese's, of Velasquez's were. Thank 
God that a true picture can be, since life is so short 
and pictures so rare ! 

But do you remember what Ruskin said when he 
looked over the shoulder of a "conscientious young 
artist," working away for the twentieth or thirtieth 
day over a copy of one of Veronese's great paintings : 
" My poor fellow, if you can't do it in an afternoon you 
can't do it in a lifetime." 

Meantime here hang the pictures — calm, silent, un- 
touched by the praise or by the blame. Sensitive 
souls to whom they really speak are aware, on enter- 
ing the room, of a sense of peculiar stillness in the 
atmosphere, like the hush which is in a lonely wood. 
It is here as it is there, the crowding of subtle presences 
which all address themselves to no mere physical sense. 

Here is a picture of an infant boy, reaching up 
towards a butterfly higher than his head. The boy is 
naked ; from his left hand trails a little white garment ; 
his right hand is lifted to the utmost height to which 
his arm can reach : is the palm downwards ? Is he 
trying to "catch" the butterfly? No, by no means. 
He is an infant ; he is Faith, Hope, Love ; he is only 
waiting for the butterfly to come to him. It is when 
we are old that we go out to "catch" butterflies with 
hasty grasping fists, or with a blue net at end of our 
staff. 

His little palm upward — every finger stretched in 
invitation and eagerness and trust, there he stands, as 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



5oi 



beautiful as one of Raphael's cherubs on the Farnesina 
ceiling, and with a far deeper spiritual significance. 
The butterfly is of clear vivid yellow, and is relieved 
by the dark foliage of a tree under which the child 
stands. Our last sight of this picture was in the late 
twilight. The background and the tree were blended 
into an indistinct mass of black shadow ; but the 
butterfly shone out bright and clear in the darkness, 
like a lamp from a window. 

Then there is another picture of a poor working- wo- 
man asleep in a chair, with her baby asleep on her breast. 
How know we that it is a working- woman ? Ah, 
that is one of the subtle revelations of which we speak. 
There are no accessories to thrust it into our notice. 
We see no poverty-stricken apartment — no rags : 
against a solid dead gold background, which might 
serve as well for the picture of a crowned king's 
slumbers, there sleep the mother and child. But the 
record of a life of labor, the dull, heavy rest of ac- 
customed fatigue, the lack of cheer even for dreams, 
all are in their faces. The pathos of the picture is un- 
utterable : it fills every fold ; it is the tone of every 
tint; the dull grays and reds of the very garments are 
tired and sad, and will wake to labor. 

Of the Hamlet we have already spoken. It is a 
picture which demands longer study and closer analysis 
than we could give it there, or can give it here. It 
is, as is Shakespeare's Hamlet himself, an interpreta- 
tion of a great spiritual idea, a rendering of a type. 
This is to be said of all true and masterly characteriza- 
tion in any art. We give names because the genera- 
tion asks signs. But narratives are of no moment. 
Hamlet is Hamlet, not because the King of Denmark 
had a son, but because treachery is, and loneliness is, 
and despair and madness and broken hearts must be. 
These are in William Hunt's picture of Hamlet, in 
Hamlet's face, in the gray and white and black of the 
desolate sky — in the black of the cloak — in the iron 
and stone of the walls of the parapet where he walks — 
in the bit of chain which swings in the wind. Would 
a desperate and wretched man wrap himself in a bright 
Andalusian mantle to pace up and down on this night ? 
No. But we want a bit of scarlet in this picture.. 
Titian himself often employed the questionable device 
of a meaningless red cloth flung out of a window to 
light up a dark corner of a picture. The red was 
glorious, no doubt ; yet, what business had the cloth ? 
It was, after all, borrowing from the "property-man." 
But how do we find the needed red in this dark night 
where Hunt's Hamlet is walking? Two palace win- 
dows in the background, ablaze with lights ; a stream 
of red glow pouring out, even to the very ground, from 
the room where 'other men whose hearts are not broken, 
whose brains are not crazed, are dancing and making 
merry. 

This is alive. This is universal. This is art render- 
ing life, rendering nature. If William Hunt had never 
painted another picture besides this, this would stamp 
him as a master. 

But there is in this room a marvelous variety of 



subject. We have not time even to mention the 
pictures by name : there are, perhaps, fifty in all. 
Many of them rough charcoal sketches, but all bear- 
ing the impress of the same simplicity, significance, 
sadness. Music has many keys, but we know Beetho- 
ven, Mozart, Chopin, in all. 

There is a bit of forest caught in its first spring-time 
green : no tops to the trees ; of course, if you are in a 
forest and look across it, you look midway between 
root and top-branch of the trees ; and this was one of 
the early days when birch-leaves, if you touch them, 
curl like cobwebs, and there is golden dust of myriad 
catkins in the air. 

There is a brave fellow at work in a quarry — not 
hammering — looking up — but the stroke, and the ring, 
and the purpose are there ; there also is the pathetic 
silence of strong stone. Ah, the lesson of a quarry, — 
of the hewn, and the unhewn and the hewer ! 

There is a charcoal picture of a moonlit balcony, 
with a look of a cloister about it. And on the edge, 
two owls nestled close side by side, with their heads 
resting lovingly on each other. They are only owls, 
but they look as if they loved like lovers and purred like 
kittens. There is a woman, spinning, spinning, who 
is mingled fahy t fate, and grandmother. There is a 
group of poor peasant children feeding their poorer 
donkey ; there is a sheet full of filmy butterflies ; therfe 
is a picture of a bit of road leading away among 
some trees — only the commonest of woods, only the. 
commonest of trees ; why does it so hold the eye, and 
set the heart instantly into half-conscious conjecture ? 

There is an old woman driving her pig through the 
forest ; you laugh, for k looks like a pig leading an 
old woman ; as must all true pictures of that obstinate 
animal. 

There are two little beggar children sitting in an 
old stone doorway, eating soup from a bowl between 
their knees. They who think Mr. Hunt's effects 
easily and hastily produced would do well to study the 
background of this picture, and to fancy the scene 
changed by the addition of one single point of sharper 
color. 

There is a full-length portrait of a young woman in 
a simple white gown with a red sash. She is standing 
out of doors, fastening a new daisy into her hat. She 
is looking down at that, and her face is half turned 
away. It is the picture of her as she passed by some 
morning. 

" I will tell you my idea of a portrait," said Corot : 
"Let a person walk slowly through an open door, 
about ten feet away from you ; let him pass and repass 
a few times ; then if, after he has gone, you can paint 
the image which he has left in your brain, you will 
paint a portrait. If you sit down before him, you be- 
gin to count his buttons." 

This was extravagant ; but its extravagance is only 
the overflow of a truth ! 

"Because you see, you are blind," said another 
master. And the Divine Master of all : what said he? 
" Having eyes, ye see not j and having ears, ye hear 



502 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



not." For three thousand years the world has gone 
on believing that these words meant to reproach those 
who did not sufficiently use their eyes and their ears. 
Why not to reproach those who use nothing but their 
eyes and their ears ? The satire is sharper, the truth 
deeper, the lesson more needed. Perish the race and 
name of that man who first set us to counting our toes 
and fingers, and told us we hadyfo<r senses. We have 
five million, and we are blind, and deaf, and crippled 
if we omit to use one of them. 

Of Wm. Hunt's portraits, and of him as a portrait- 
painter, there is not now room to speak. It will be 
plain from what has been here said of his works where- 
in would lie and whence would come his greatest suc- 
cess in portraits, and whence, also, might come great 
failure. Neither is this any attempt to speak of him as 
a painter, in the limited sense of the words " painter " 
and "paints." Of color, considered as pigment, the 
world does not know much ; for method, considered 
as mechanism, the world cares little. Of colors which 
are revelation, of methods which interpret, the most 
ignorant can become aware, and the world will never 
cease to be glad. 

SANTLEY. 

It is worthy of remark that the best singer of Ital- 
ian music which an unusually prolific season has pre- 
sented us is an Englishman.. It would be difficult to 
find a more thorough master of the simplest and purest, 
and therefore the most effective school of vocalism, 
than Mr. Santley, who came here with the company of 
artists known as the " Dolby Troupe." He was iden- 
tified with most of the recent operatic triumphs in Lon- 
don, and was known to us only by report as one of the 
popular lyric artists at the Drury Lane Theater. His 
appearance in New York was as a singer of English 
songs in a ballad company. He was, however, recogniz- 
ed immediately as a musician of fine culture, possessing 
a remarkable voice and a chaste, manly style sufficient 
to distinguish him above all the singing contemporaries 
of his sex who were then with us. The charm of Mr. 
Santley's vocalism was not wholly due to his exceptional 
voice, which is a baritone of over two octaves com- 
pass, as suave and tractable throughout as any tenor, 
and imbued in every tone with a ringing virile sono- 
rity that takes the sense as does extraordinary mascu- 
line beauty of face or form, but in great measure to the 
exquisite method with which he employed it. He sang 
here a number of nights with Miss Edith Wynne, a 
clever but not brilliant soprano, who has considerable 
rqmtation in England for her execution of Welsh bal- 
lads, and Mme. Patey ; but owing to the want of dis- 
tinct character in the entertainments, or perhaps to 
the absence of anything like "sensationalism," the 
company was overshadowed by other and louder at- 
tractions. During this visit, Mr. Santley alone, of all 
the troupe, commanded the unqualified admiration of 
critical judges, for reasons which we have already stated. 
When the company, after a short tour, returned to the 
city and interspersed Italian music of a declamatory 
character in its entertainments, we began to perceive 



more accurately wherein the baritone excelled and 
wherein he was deficient. Probably no troupe of 
singers ever before appealed to a New York audience 
in the concert-room with so much vocal power and so 
little declamatory art. Not one of these artists pos- 
sessed the ability to color the passionate music pre- 
sented with sufficient dramatic force. In delicacy of 
phrasing, purity of intonation, correctness of empha- 
sis, and execution of difficult musical feats they showed 
themselves vocalists of no mean accomplishments, and 
Mr. Santley more distinctly than any of them. His 
singing of "The Stirrup Cup" and Handel's quaint 
and charming song " O, Ruddier than the Cherry" 
renewed the robust English character of those compo- 
sitions. It was a positive delight to hear him. His 
ringing tones seemed at times the unforced emanations 
of a splendid physique ; yet they scarcely ever touched 
us with the potency of passion. They were never 
fraught with the intensity of the singer's feelings. 
The beautiful aria from " Don Sebastian " — " O, Lis- 
bona " — was never so smoothly and suavely sung, and 
the scena from "Zampa" proved conclusively how 
perfect a master Mr. Santley was of all the vocal 
graces of utterance. But this rigid musical excellence 
filled the ear without touching the feelings, and Mr. 
Santley created no enthusiasm, because he possessed 
none. It is probable that New York will yet hear 
him in Italian opera. Negotiations to that end are 
already in progress. He has a large repertoire, and it 
was only last season that he added to it the extremely 
difficult rdle of "The Flying Dutchman," and did 
more than even the London management to save that 
heavy Wagnerian work from failure by his admirable 
execution of the exacting music. When he appears 
in opera here, it will be found that his vocalism, as in 
the concert-room, is superb, but that his dramatic 
power is inadequate to the creation of any popular 
excitement. 

MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY.* 

Real Folks, though not one of the most elaborate 
of Mrs. Whitney's works, belonging rather to the series 
of her stories for young people than to her novels, is 
yet, in some respects, the ripest, as it is the latest, of her 
productions. It is one of her finest characteristics, 
that her stories for the young, simple in construction 
and in style as they are, and interesting to the class for 
whom they are written, merely as tales, all contain mat- 
ter to instruct and inspire the wisest and maturest 
minds and hearts. Beneath the pleasant and easily 
traversed surface, there are mines of moral and spiritual 
experience which reward the working of all who are 
competent to explore them. For, above all things, 
Mrs. Whitney is in earnest, and never writes without 
a serious and profound purpose. Her books are 
"real " books — coming out of genuine convictions, and 
solid and patient experience. She writes because she 
has something to say. Sh$-is no idle echo of public 

* Real Folks- -by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney— Boston : James 
R. Osgood & Co. 1872. 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



5°3 



sentiment, or imitator of other models, but an original 
voice, crying out of the depths of native feeling, or de- 
claring the observations of a direct vision. In this 
respect she shares the claims of the poet, — a maker, 
not the refashioner of things made. She brings to her 
day and generation the fresh, first-hand convictions 
of a deeply penetrative, highly reflective, and constitu- 
tionally spiritual mind, and, above all, of a mind in 
sympathy with actual life. She needs not to go apart 
and make a sphere in an ideal world, or among a se- 
lect class of persons, or for those in a special condition, 
but finds in the every-day life of every-day people, 
without regard to age, sex, condition, circumstances, 
the materials and the illustrations and the objects of 
her labors. 

There are those who amuse and cheer and soften 
their race, by furnishing it with galleries of human por- 
traits, each selected for some humorous, eccentric, or 
extravagant quality, on which their whole personality 
is made to turn, so that all the graces, foibles, and 
oddities of life, in a picturesque and heightened form, 
are made, as in a masked ball, to dance before the be- 
holder's eye. Dickens is the very head of this class, 
and he has done noble service in broadening the sym- 
pathies of the race, and in cheering toil with his ex- 
quisite powers of amusement. But Dickens was really 
an actor, and his works are a portable theater set up 
in a million homes, to entertain and delight the leisure 
of over-worked and often secluded and ill-provided 
persons. But it is doubtful if anybody ever learned 
much from him in respect to the real nature of human 
life, or the serious personal problems of his own be- 
ing. The theater does not aim to instruct but to en- 
tertain, — without injuring, but also without improving 
the heart. It is a high function to amuse innocently 
and refreshingly the human race, and blessed is the 
memory and great the genius of those who have largely 
succeeded in that line. There is another class of writ- 
ings in which life is drawn just as it is, without carica- 
ture or excess — with a faithful regard to the balance 
of faculties that make up every human being, and with 
a consciousness that nothing can be more interesting 
to humanity than to see even ordinary people living 
and acting and talking just as they do in real life, 
in the pages of the novelist. But this class of nov- 
els of real life has seldom proposed to itself any- 
thing beyond the wholesome entertainment of society, 
with perhaps some side view exhibiting the perils of 
too much sensibility, or too little will, or too great de- 
votion to fashion, or too quick confidence in strangers. 
Mrs. Jane Austen is, by a great remove, above all 
who have succeeded in this line. 

But there is no aspiration, no great sense of any 
possible improvement of society, no considerable depth 
of spiritual insight, in her admirable and charming 
books. They are very much confined to ever -living 
portraits of the gentry and better class of people in 
English county society. They awake no new con- 
sciousness, stimulate no slumbering spiritual ambition, 
widen nobody's horizon, do not raise the common into 



a fresh significance, and could hardly be expected to 
animate and change for the better any person's life and 
character. The highest that can be said for them is, 
that while they have ever been, for their truth to na- 
ture, their wit and humor, and the purity and grace of 
their style, the admiration of the best judges — of men 
like Scott, Hallam, and Macaulay — they contain not a 
line that morality could wish to blot, and not a senti- 
ment that could pollute or take the freshness from the 
most innocent soul. 

There is a third class of novelists of whom our gen- 
eration is happily prolific, that aim at something posi- 
tive and directly useful ; who seek to entertain for the 
purpose of instructing, and not merely in manners, 
or in conventional morals and proprieties, but in re- 
spect to the highest and holiest themes ; to clear up 
the problem of life, not only in its external but its in- 
ternal factors ; to give trial and temptation their due 
as teachers ; to present encouragements to struggling 
virtue, and warnings to successful vice ; but above all 
to arouse the common so»l of humanity to a sense of 
the significance of nature and society, and toil and do- 
mestic relations, and all the providential circumstances 
of our mortal lot. 

This class of writers of fiction is now busy, with the 
aid, and sometimes in the shape, of poets, in unveiling 
to this generation the value, the meaning, the moral 
and divine depth of ordinary life. Mrs. Browning's 
Aurora Leigh is the link that binds the novelists and 
the poets of our generation together in a spiritual tie. 
Mr. Owen Meredith's Lucile is a novel in verse, and 
full of bright and wise as well as some wicked and 
foolish things; but it is a novel of "class," of roman- 
tic and extravagant character — and if it instructs at 
all, it is not the homely and the ordinary, not the 
human and universal soul that it reaches. 

Miss Evans, Miss Muloch, Mrs. Stowe, Macdonald, 
Mrs. Whitney, and Mr. Edward Everett Hale belong 
to the class of writers of modern fiction whose ends 
and aims are as serious and direct as if they were 
moralists or preachers by profession. And we are very 
much disposed to think Mrs. Whitney has claims to 
be considered the most satisfactory representative of 
the class. She has not the scholarship, passion, and 
dramatic power of Miss Evans ; the intelligibleness and 
progressive story-telling skill of Miss Muloch ; the 
artistic perfection and exquisite music of Mrs. Stowe, 
nor her varied humor, sustained pathos, and finished 
characterization ; she has not Macdonald's fullness, in- 
tensity, and vigor, although much more like him than 
any of the others we have named ; nor has she Mr. 
Hale's realism and power of making the most incredi- 
ble things seem as true as plainest matters of fact. 
Mr. Locke, with his moon-story, must have been Mr. 
Hale's prototype when he wrote his Brick Moon, but 
we should much sooner hope to escape from Mr. 
Locke's toils than from any hoax Mr. Hale attempted 
to fasten upon us ! Only, Mr. Hale always hoaxes 
people into the practice of virtue, and leaves them 
genuine, in spite of his counterfeit means of instruc- 



5°4 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



tion. But if Mrs. Whitney is less in vigor of genius, 
or in special attributes, than one or two of the writers 
we have named, she has a steady loftiness and high 
spirituality of powers and qualities which no one of 
them possesses, and a gift and quality strictly her 
own. 

In purity of moral judgment, in absolute freedom 
from ethical mistakes, we would trust Mrs. Whitney 
before any of these writers. She not only has the 
clearest vision of what is right, but the most adhesive 
purpose in working out the retributive elements in her 
characters. Rhadamanthus could be more easily 
bribed than Mrs. Whitney to condone real offenses 
against moral law. There is a fearful looking for 
of judgment which the readers of her stories learn 
to tremble with as they watch the fate of her char- 
acters! But this moral severity — the stern climate in 
which all high natures must dwell — is not the conven- 
tional acerbity of inexperienced virtue, the rigor of 
a prude, the cruelty of those who have not passion 
enough to know what temptation means for those who 
fall below themselves under the assaults to which rich 
and powerful emotions expose them. It is more like 
the severity of the Master himself, who pities while he 
condemns, and lifts up with his rebuke. There is a 
tonic and pungent morality in Mrs. Whitney, which in 
these loose literary times is like sal volatile in a heated 
and air-poisoned ball-room. She has suffered no re- 
laxing in her moral fibers from the enfeebling senti- 
mentality of much of mannish women's and womanish 
men's writings, in these days of irresolute will and un- 
settled convictions. 

And doubtless the reason of this is her essential 
spirituality. That is to say, she lives in direct vision 
of the real things. God, heaven, angels, truth, reality 
are not distant and second-hand, but immediate and 
positive objects of experience, of spiritual sight. This 
will seem a bold assertion only for those who have 
themselves no direct vision of spiritual things. For the 
carnal mind seeth not the things of the spirit ! 

But Mrs. Whitney, having vision, sees the invisible : 
and those who have themselves seen it, see that she 
sees it, and feel neither spiritual pride nor mock mod- 
esty in claiming the right to declare what can only be 
confirmed by a like experience. Let those who do not 
realize this simply note the fact, and ask themselves if 
their spiritual senses are not closed. 

The best thing to be said of Mrs. Whitney's spirit- 
uality is that it is so real and genuine ; that it compre- 
hends the outward world and the life that now is, not 
as a foreign and unrelated fact or substance, but as a 
constituent part of itself. If the body requires a soul, 
the soul requires a body — and God has given the human 
soul not merely one body, but several, — its flesh and 
blood, its domestic kinship, its social relationships, its 
environment in external nature, its perfect cosmos ; 
and these bodies — like the Chinese balls within balls, all 
made of one original solid substance, and cut and 
carved in strict connection with each other, with loop- 
holes from the very center out, and from the outer- 



most rind in to the heart — are all planned and consti- 
tuted to make man know himself, his race, his Maker, 
and the universe. There is nothing common nor un- 
clean in itself ; there is no voice without signification ! 
Matter is as great a mystery as mind, if it be not its 
other side. And so Mrs. Whitney is not the least 
ghostly, or other-worldly, or ascetic, or withdrawn, or 
indifferent to the present world, or its ordinary pursuits 
and pleasures. She has the very opposite of a morbid, 
over-righteous, sanctimonious, df pietistic spirit, while 
profoundly religious and worshipful in faith and feel- 
ing. 

Real Folks, in its very title, is a clue not only to the 
story it names, but to all Mrs. Whitney's writings. 
She is looking for the real behind the apparent ; for 
the moral and spiritual substance of life under the 
shadows of things. And every real man or woman, 
independent of outward circumstances, belongs to her 
aristocracy. She thinks and feels under no tyrannical 
scepter of circumstances and conventions. Honest 
will, unselfish feeling, devotion to others' good, aspira- 
tion toward God and duty ; above all, the inner sense 
of life, its meaning, sacredness, and true wealth — these 
make true manhood, true womanhood, and every per- 
son partaking these traits belongs to her fellowship of 
"real folks." 

There is not much more stoiy to Real Folks than 
belongs to everybody's experience. The events are 
trivial and commonplace — purposely so. To go out 
of the common way to find her characters or incidents 
would be to abandon the very idea of her books, which 
is to elevate and interpret the common, to show hero- 
ism in vulgar circumstances, insight in humble eyes, 
great meaning in little things, and real greatness in 
people in low stations. 

It would be a pleasure to speak of the finely-drawn 
— that is not the word — the admirably suggested char- 
acters in Real Folks. Mrs. Whitney does not draw 
characters. She feels them, and makes the reader feel 
them by subtle means, — by what they do, or briefly 
say, and rarely, especially of late, by painstaking an- 
alysis. 

Like Rembrandt painting in the midst of Dutch 
fogs, and painting just and only what he saw in vivid 
contrast of strong shade and lights high only by reason 
of the general darkness, — but ever giving the inner- 
most significance of faces, scenes, trees, — Mrs. Whit- 
ney does not outline her characters, but seizes the heart 
of them, and then, by a few touches of light and shade, 
places them in a perspective, often powerfully fore- 
shortened, which is as characteristic of her manner as 
Rembrandt's own of his. She has an eye for color 
rather than for form — and specially for the gleam of 
jewels and the glint of light. Her characters emit 
light, and shine themselves by a sudden flash into the ap- 
prehension of the beholder. They speak, too, in dark 
sayings which, like amber rubbed, give out perfume and 
power. There is much to hold the reader in pithy 
and sometimes mystic sentences, which are the very 
core of the speaker's heart. Mrs. Whitney is doubt- 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



5o5 



less obscure to many, but it is the obscurity of depth 
and fullness, like that of parables and sacred aphorisms 
and things that require the hearer's heart close to the 
speaker's mouth, to be understood. 

We regard Luclarion as one of the most admirable 
in that long list of characters drawn from New Eng- 
land 'help,' which Mrs. Whitney is never willing to 
leave out of her books. And as nobody makes them 
so well, we are never tired of them. Luclarion is a 
marvel of goodness and greatness of soul, of mother- 
wit and sacred insight, of heroic courage and origin- 
ality of purpose and character, and a style of utter- 
ance clear as a trumpet and short and sharp as a 
battle-charge. She routs all obstacles and is sans peur 
et sans reproche — a true Joan of Arc in humble life 
and a servant's position. Dear Miss Craydocke reap- 
pears in her modest boldness, everybody's busy friend 
without ceasing to live her own life ; the type of the 
woman who expects nothing for herself, and finds every- 
thing by doing everything for everybody — herself with 
a milk of human kindness in her that thunder-storms 
cannot turn. Of Desire and Hazel and Mrs. McGilp 
and Uncle Oldworthy and Mrs. Ripwinkle and Ken- 
neth we dare not begin to speak, they are so interest- 
ing each in a different way. For we wish to add to 
this already over-long notice the special charm for us 
in Real Folks. Mrs. Whitney has grappled with the 
difficulties of young-lady life ; the servant-question ; 
the love problem, as modern days present it, in many 
previous stories. But in this she gives a bold stroke 
at the gravest of all questions for practical Christians 
— the question of obviating the moral and intellectual 
and social inequalities of life by a direct heroic contact 
between the rich and the poor, the pure and the im- 
pure, the fastidious and the reckless and coarse. She 
evidently feels that little good can be done to the 
lower and dangerous classes by associations, public 
charities, in short by any kind of deputy work. It is 
"real folks" that are wanted, individual hearts and 
souls, burning with sympathy and love, and who value 
so much more the possibilities and inherent aptitudes 
of humanity than they dread and recoil from its coarse- 
ness and ugliness and squalor, that with unfeigned in- 
terest, and even joy, they can really live in the midst 
of what repels ordinary mediocre Christian folks (who 
are not "real" folks), and work miracles of reform, 
and discover in the dirt and bring from the gutter dia- 
monds and rubies — folks just as "real" as themselves. 
That luxury and comfort and fastidious tastes and arti- 
ficial disgusts weaken or pervert modern philanthropy, 
and render most of its richly endowed charities of fee- 
ble usefulness, is very certain. Mrs. Whitney touches 
the quick with her lancet. She shows that she feels 
more than she now expresses upon this point, and has 
perhaps only opened in Real Folks a vein which she 
means to work deeply by and by. We welcome her 
into this new and hardly opened road ; and we give 
Real Folks, as the avant-courrier of a perhaps fuller 
and more deeply laden work upon this critical theme, 
our most cordial and grateful welcome. 



"OVERLAND." 

"Can there be," and "will there be a good novel 
which is truly American?" are questions which critics 
have often discussed, and have usually dismissed with 
a supercilious negative. Mr. De Forest himself, we 
remember, expressed some years ago, in one of his un- 
commonly clever essays in T/ie Nation, much doubt 
whether it would be clone in the course of this century. 
He must have been at that time strangely unaware of 
his own latent power, perhaps of his own purpose. 
He has given us in this year two good novels, both so 
vividly, so clearly American, that it is safe- to say no 
one but an American could have written them. To 
be sure, each is strongly sectional, in geography of 
plot and in tone of coloring ; but they are none the 
less genuinely American for all that. There are as yet 
many Americas. Probably there always will be ; and 
it is th£ overrating of the bearing of this condition on 
the future American novel which has created the mis- 
giving as to its probability. But it seems illogical. No- 
body disputes that a faithful picture of Devonshire 
people has as good a right as one of Regent Street and 
London Terrace to be called a picture of English life. 
So with Overland and Kate Beaumont. In the latter 
we have the incongruities, the crimes and the virtues, 
the brutalities and the elegancies of the Southern 
United States; in Overland we have the intense 
dramatic movement, the horror, the grandeur, the 
playing with lives for stakes, of the Pacific Coast. 
Each atmosphere is defined, real, from first to last ; 
there is not a dull page, not a flagging paragraph ; 
many of the scenes are described with a fire, a resonant 
sound, which are masterly. Mr. De Foi-est has gained 
an artistic power of which his earlier stories gave very 
little promise. 

The characterization in Overland is most suc- 
cessful. The civilized villain " Coronado," and the 
brutal villain " Texas Smith," are admirably drawn. 
There are many close shadings, fine psychological dis- 
criminations -in these two portraits. " Aunt Maria " is 
delicious; and so is "Sweeny," the Irish recruit, 
whose loyalty to his commanding officer does not fail 
even in presence of one of the most terrible dangers, 
that of starvation in a wilderness. 

" It's as aisy talkin' right as talkin' wrong," retorted 
Sweeny; "ye've no call to grunt the curritch out av 
yer betthers. Wait till the liftinant says die." 

As for Mr. De Forest's heroines, they are always 
of one type. We are tempted to think that he does 
not believe in the possibility of a clever woman's being 
lovable or loving. His heroines are simply tall little 
girls in long clothes; artless, affectionate, sweet, but 
singularly unintellectual. They never say anything 
which is not directly emotional ; they never do any- 
thing except make some man love them — it must be 
granted they do that effectually ; they love very 
heartily in turn, and one has a strange sort of liking 
for them all through ; perhaps they are the most com- 
fortable sort for every-day life. Mr. De Forest evi- 
dently thinks so. But, as artistic creations, they 



So6 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



amount to very little ; as central interests or even fore- 
most figures in a narrative, they would be utter fail- 
ures. They must be caught up and borne along by a 
great deal of action, of machinery, aside from all 
which is of necessity involved in their own existence. 
Clara on the "Overland" journey affords excellent 
points for Thurstane's development and behavior, be- 
cause he loves her ; she is in danger — he must protect 
her. Of Clara at home, for two hundred winter even- 
ings, we confess we think even Thurstane might weary. 
Mr. De Forest has still to guard against a tendency 
to the sensational. The poisoning episode near the end 
of this story only weakens and retards the denouement, 
and is poorly worked up in itself. This is the one fault 
in the plot. But it is a minor one, and easily over- 
looked in the interest inspired by the main narrative. 
If Mr. De Forest continues for the next ten years to 
make as steady advance as he has for the last^-if he 
gives us, some day, a novel as much better than Over- 
land, as Overland is than his earliest stories — it is not 
too much to say that he will take place among the 
foremost novelists, and we may forgive him for ceasing 
to be an essayist. 

"MY WIFE AND I." 

The instinct of preaching seems to have been as 
hereditary in the Beecher family as the instinct of 
comb-building in a bee-hive. All the men preach. 
All the women preach ; though their sermons are called 
by some other name. Mrs. Stowe's last is called My 
Wife and I ; or, Harry Henderson's History. 

The text, if it had had one, would have been, " Oh, 
young man, look well to the paths of thy feet, that 
they carry thee not into the houses of worldly maidens.; 
but if it must be that thou marry one of the daughters 
of Heth, from Fifth Avenue, see to it that she shall be 
one who can content herself in Greenwich street and 
paper her own dining-room." 

Not that the sermon is without sentiment. There 
are many passages of genuine feeling, healthful tender- 
ness ; many episodes where simple manliness and af- 
fectionate womanliness are well pictured and well 
taught : but the flavor of the book as a whole is of 
the outer rather than of the inner life. At the end 
we take leave of Harry Henderson and Eva Van 
Arsdale, fairly launched on the voyage of life, with a 
sense of entire satisfaction, and unimpeachable con- 
fidence in their future ; but it is much as if one, having 
seen friends off by steamer, had come back from the 
wharves, and looked in to say, concisely, "All right. 
Barometer rising steadily. Wind S. by S. S. W. 
Copper-bottomed ; three compartments ; coaled and 
provisioned for two months. Make yourself easy." 

All the romance, all the idealization, all the color 
of the narrative are in the first chapters, which tell 
the story of the " child-wife." These are sweet and 
touching. It is always in her simplest stories of sim- 
plest scenes that Mrs. Stowe is most successful. The 
life and death of the little child-wife Daisy remind us 
of some of Mrs. Stowe's earliest sketches, which she 
has never since equaled in quiet grace and pathos. 



The chapter on the woman question is more funny 
than fair, but will be read with great interest on ac- 
count of certain legal threatenings which resulted from 
its first publication. Miss Audacia Dangereyes is 
hardly a caricature ; but poor, pretty Mrs. Cerulean 
is too hard hit ; neither does the comparatively seclud- 
ed Miss Ida represent a type. In fact, the introduc- 
tion of the subject at all seems a mistake, unless it could 
have been more dramatically and exhaustively handled. 

The faults of this book, considered as a sermon — 
which it certainly is — are a lack of general applica- 
bility and a preponderance of special pleading ; it 
might be added, also, that perhaps guides to matri- 
mony are superfluous. 

The faults of the book considered as a romance — 
which it certainly is not — are a lack of idealization of 
persons, places, or incidents, and a preponderance of 
insignificant detail. 

The excellences of the book, whether we call it ser- 
mon or romance, are those which will always be found 
in any work from Mrs. Stowe's pen — excellences which 
are organically inherent in the Beecher blood — earnest- 
ness of aim ; opposition to everything which is false 
or mean or unhealthful ; advocacy of all that is true 
and kindly and beneficial ; and the exaltation of home 
virtue, home comfort, home beauty, home living, as 
the greatest goods this world can afford. 

NEW SERIES OF WONDER-BOOKS. 

It is too often forgotten by parents and teachers, 
that in education, especially with the young, inspira- 
tion outranks instruction. In other words, it is not so 
much the amount of knowledge imparted in a given 
time as the intensity of desire for knowledge awaken- 
ed, that is the true test of primary teaching. As 
Sir John Lubbock remarked not long ago in Parlia- 
ment, "It is often better a boy should like his lesson 
than learn it." The elementary principles of science 
may be, and frequently are, so presented to young 
minds as to deaden any disposition they may naturally 
have to seek an acquaintance with Nature. The re- 
quirements of Boards of Education, and the impatience 
of parents for results that can be measured by the page, 
constantly compel teachers to sacrifice the spririt of 
education to the letter of learning, — to treat the 
child' s mind as an empty store-house, not as a nascent 
power. The knowledge conveyed may be correct. It 
may be highly valuable. Yet it may none the less have 
the reverse of an educative effect, for the simple reason 
that it chills enthusiasm, crushes curiosity, or, what is 
worse, gives rise to the notion too common among 
students, that the subject is exhausted when the text- 
book is committed to memory. 

As a corrective of this influence, slight, sketchy, 
suggestive works like those of the Wonder Library 
(Chas. Scribner & Co.) have a value not at all to be 
measured by their comprehensiveness or their scientific 
worth. Written in that vivacious style of which the 
French alone are masters, and which partially atones 
for the little service the French have rendered of late 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



5o7 



years on the frontiers of science, these works stimulate as 
well as instruct the unlearned reader. The immense suc- 
cess of the series is an encouraging index of an increasing 
popular taste for reading that profits while it enter- 
tains. The new series of a similar sort, projected by 
the same publishers, bespeaks even a warmer welcome 
than that accorded the first, since the translations are 
to be supplemented by liberal additions having special 
reference to American contributions to the subjects 
treated. The bulk of the books will thus be consider- 
ably enlarged and their national interest much enhanced. 
The series begins with The Wonders of Water, by 
Gaston Tissandier, to which the editor, Professor Scheie 
De Vere, has added several illustrations and many 
pages of text in relation to the waters of this country, 
as for example the falls and geysers of the Yellowstone, 
the water-supplies of our principal cities, our mineral 
springs, and so on. His remarks on the influence of 
forests on climate and rain-fall, and on the evil effects 
that follow excessive cutting down of trees, are timely 
and calculated to do good. 

TAINE. 

We can do no more than record the republication, 
on this side of the Atlantic, of the two volumes in 
which one of the greatest of critics and of historical 
students has given his estimate of the literature of our 
mother tongue. {History of English Literature, by 
H. A. Taine. Holt & Williams.) It is impossible, 
in a mere book-notice, to do justice to the genius 
which this writer brings to his great work. It is 
sufficient to say that there can nowhere else be found 
a survey of English Literature so comprehensive, in 
the main so accurate, and always so .brilliant as is 
to be found in these two volumes. Already people 
have begun to discover the wonderful fascination of 
Taine' s style — a fascination from which little seems to 
be lost by its translation into English, when that 
translation is intrusted to such careful hands as those 
of Mr. Van Laun. But nowhere has that fascination 
been so complete as in this latest and greatest of his 
works. For the prompt republication of these two 
volumes in such attractive and elegant form, the enter- 
prising publishers deserve the hearty thanks of all 
lovers of good reading, of sound criticism, of laborious 
and faithful historical study. And costly as the enter- 
prise of republication in so good a style must be, the 
steady and growing popularity of the book ought, 
without fail, to justify them in their experiment. For 
the book will certainly be popular. It is not for critics 
only, nor for students only. It is also for those readers 
who, if they read at all, must read easily and rapidly, 
and who need to read what is best worth reading in 
the readiest form. Far better than' any volumes of 
selections from best authors, and the like, is this con- 
tinuous narrative, rich with the treasures of the En- 
glish tongue, vigorous, descriptive, discriminating, 
always delightful. In no way can one get a keener 
insight into the English national character as it is to 
day, than by such a study of the history of the English 
literature. It is marvelous to see what things have 



gone to the making of that character, and through 
what processes of growth and of reaction its develop- 
ment has taken place. And we, on this side of the 
water, cannot possibly forget our own hereditary in- 
terest in that strange history and in its great results. 
CURTIUS'S GREECE. 

The second volume of The History of Greece, by 
Dr. Ernst Curtius, appears from the press of Messrs. 
Charles Scribner & Co., with an important improve- 
ment over the English copies. Since the translation 
was made by Professor A. W. Ward, a new edition 
has appeared in Germany, embodying, in the form of 
extensive alterations and additions, the result of the 
author's latest researches. These changes have been 
incorporated by Professor W. A. Packard, of Prince- 
ton College, with the American reprint, and a sim- 
ilar revision will be given to the third volume, which 
is yet to appear. The work of Dr. Curtius holds 
a middle place in historical literature. It is the 
production of an accomplished scholar, who has de- 
voted the greater part of a lifetime to the study of 
Grecian monuments and literature, and ranks high as 
an original investigator. It merits, therefore, the re- 
spect of the learned ; but on the other hand, it is not 
too elaborate for the general reader. Dr. Curtius has 
spared us an explanation of the processes by which he 
has reached his conclusions. Pie gives only the results, 
in a rapid and philosophical narrative, which does not 
fatigue the memory with a superfluity of details, nor 
distract the attention with unnecessary discussions, 
though an appendix contains an abundance of notes to 
satisfy the wants of the most careful student. The 
second volume opens with a survey of the religious, 
commercial, literary, and artistic influences which af- 
fected the union of the Grecian States, and after a nar- 
rative of the conflicts with Persia, the wars of libera- 
tion, and the rise of the power of Athens, closes with 
an admirable account of Grecian culture — lyric and 
dramatic poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture, phi- 
losophy, science, industry, and politics — in the time 
of Pericles. 

"THE EARTH." 

In these days of busy scientific speculation, and more 
or less blind groping after results that are as yet beyond 
our reach, it is a comfort to lay hold of a book which 
is content to furnish accurate and abundant scientific 
information, and to leave the work of conjecture and 
theory to those whose special duty or delight is in such 
work. Manifestly such work is not the duty of the 
people, who have not the time, the training, nor the 
talent for it. It requires specialists, who ought to 
give to it their whole ability and endeavor, and who 
ought to have in it complete and unembarrassed lib- 
erty. What most of us have to ask of men of science 
is that they will give us their results, and, if they choose, 
Lhe processes by which assured results were reached, 
but not perplex and bother us with theories which are 
unestablished, with guesses or probabilities which may 
after all prove wrong. A scientific fact once demon- 
strated, almost never causes a panic, either among the 



5 o8 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



theologians or the populace. But crude and fanciful 
conjectures, laboriously and solemnly asserted, as if 
they were established facts — conclusions jumped at by 
eager and ambitious aspirants for scientific renown — do 
sometimes, with a certain justice, occasion complaint 
and distress to quiet and religious folk accustomed to 
stand fast in the old ways, and reluctant to be jostled 
and disturbed. 

Such a book, most admirable in the vast range of 
its learning, and in the clearness and condensed force 
of its statements, has been reprinted by Messrs. Har- 
per & Bros, from the English plates ( The Earth : a 
Descriptive History of the Phenomena of the Life 
of the Globe; by Elisee Reclus. Translated from 
the French and copiously illustrated). It is hard to 
see how such vivacity and, at times, such poetic felicity 
of style as this work exhibits could consist with the 
recital of so vast a multitude of scientific facts and 
with details of information which might well enough 
have grown dry and wearisome. But we doubt whether 
any reader of ordinary intelligence and maturity could 
fail to find the volume fascinating; and whether in the 
hands of any thoughtful boys or girls, who like to 
know about the world they live in, it would not pres- 
ently come to be the success ful rival of the sensational 
novel or average Sunday-school book. Properly 
speaking, this volume would not tell them so much 
about the world they live in, but about the globe they 
live upon. It is a book of physical geography. It is 
very far from being a children's book, or a popular 
book in the frivolous sense ; it is a book for students ; 
but it is so fresh and clear in its style and so crammed 
with wonders, which are not fictitious, but veritable, 
that it is pre-eminently worthy of a place in a house- 
hold where there are growing children, who begin to 
ask questions about "the earth and the world," and 
who have tendencies which, if rightly directed and en- 
couraged at the outset, may make them students of 
science when they grow older. It is safe to say that 
what can be known concerning the structure and his- 
tory of the globe is better indicated by this volume 
than by any other one work yet attempted. It is com- 
prehensive enough to claim the title of an encyclo- 
pedia of physical geography. It is careful and accu- 
rate enough to suffice for all the needs of an ordinary 
student ; and it is entertaining enough to claim a place 
in a series of wonder-books for the stimulus and de- 
lectation of the youthful mind. Some of the chapters 
on mountains may yet be responsible for the making 
of adventurous climbers and travelers out of the boys 
who shall read the fascinating pages. 

It is worth while to say a word of especial commen- 
dation of the maps and plates by which the book is 
illustrated. These are very abundant and admirably 
executed. And altogether the volume is one of those 
which every household that owns it will be the richer 
for — a wholesome, useful book, learned without being 
dreary, scientific' without being conceited, and reve- 
rential in its spirit without any ostentation of reve- 
rence. 



"THE LAST TOURNAMENT."* 

Alas, that poets grow old! But they never do. 
Theirs is the gift of perpetual youth. It is we, their 
readers, that grow inevitably old. What man is there 
of us not old enough to have been a part of that world 
which thronged Albemarle street to buy Byron on pub- 
lishing mornings, and yet old enough to have watched 
Tennyson' s star nearly all the way up from the horizon 
to the meridian, but can recall the fury, divine and 
gentle — fury bred of the delicious wine of youth — with 
which he used to greet every fresh overflow of balm- 
dew that dropped upon him from the long pathway of 
that steep' starry culmination, so prosperous and so 
slow? Locksley Hall! Morte d' Arthur! The Prin- 
cess! In Memoriam! The Ode! Yes, and Maud too. 
Idylls of the King ! At what price would we not buy 
back the emotion with which we struck hands together 
and looked at one another out of eyes dim with en- 
thusiastic tears, in the times foregone, over those gifts 
from our poet ! 

Have we any successors? Are there young men 
now that inherit us? Will the divinity students of 
'72 hold symposia over The Last Tournament? 
Does Tennyson still furnish refections of the gods to 
an ingenuous generation? Or have our youth found 
out another poet, whom we shall never know, more 
than our elders knew Tennyson, but whose is the 
future, and whose the fair young planet, and whose 
that old world which is the new ? We critics have it 
all our own way for our while in the magazines and 
reviews. We praise and we blame as we will. But 
meantime the youth that have yet to win their voice in 
literature are silently shifting the crown in our despite 
to other brows. The old order changeth, yielding 
place to new. 

To us that know the hand and prize its work, 
The Last Tourna?nent seems worthy of its author- 
ship. It is not to be judged as a separate poem. So 
judged, it would not advance the poet's reputation. 
But judged as an artistic interpolation in the series of 
idylls that now, perhaps, complete Tennyson's treat- 
ment of the Arthurian Legends, it is fit and worthy. 
The story is not pleasing, for it concerns the decay of 
that severe and high chastity, which, for a happy mo- 
ment, had soldered all the goodliest fellowship of famous 
knights whereof this world holds record. But the ex- 
quisite traits of an art that disdains to kindle bad 
desire, while describing it as if for reproof, go far to 
redeem the idyll to sincere enjoyment, and do quite 
redeem it from the ill society of certain lecherous per- 
formances, in verse, that have successfully brazed then- 
way into recognized literature. 

Tennyson's freedom in his art grows perceptibly. 
He will never gain freedom from his art. How charm- 
ing the wanton heed with which he transgresses metric 
laws for the sake of a higher metric harmony! 
"Rushed ever a rainy wind, and thro' the wind — " 
"The sudden trumpet sounded as in a dream." 

* The Last Tournament; Alfred Tennyson. J. R. Osgood 
&Co. 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



509 



"The glory of our Round Table is no more." 

" In blood-red armor sallying, howled to the king." 

"With meats and wines, and satiated their hearts." 

The whole effect of this addition to the epic of Ar- 
thur is to deepen the impression which one takes from 
the entire poem of the disintegrating social tendency of 
crimes against domestic sanctity. In this view it is a 
tract for the times, and not improbably meant to be 
such — for Tennyson is eminently a child of his age, and 
he has always wrought with a conscience and an aim 
farther and higher than the artist's merely. 

"THE DIVINE TRAGEDY." 

A very different poem, for a very different class of 
readers, is Mr. Longfellow's Divine Tragedy. Mr. 
Longfellow, too, resumes and supplements a former 
design in this new work. Pure, sweet, gentle, humane, 
reverent, catholic in its regard for all religious tastes, 
The Divine Tragedy is withal easy reading enough 
to be quite sure of a large and appreciative audience 
among those who, whether through conviction of con- 
science, or prepossessions of education, or natural bent 
of sentiment, are lovers of the grand old English Bible. 
In fact, this poem might almost be regarded as Mr. 
Longfellow's contribution to that teeming biographical 
literature which is just now so remarkably evidencing 
the hold that the Man of Calvary retains on the 
modern heart of mankind. It is like a dramatization 
of the life of Jesus the Christ. Its interest is not 
chiefly poetic, but religious. It is Scriptural, warp 
and woof. The sacred phrase, polarized with so much 
association, is religiously preserved. Page after page, 
the poem is almost pure transfer of Scripture. The 
molds of rhythm in which we have all of us learned to 
make the limpid phrases of the Bible flow as we read 
them, are scarcely disturbed. So much is this the case, 
that the prose rhythm of the original text seems often, 
if not generally, to prevail over the rhythm of the verse, 
and to take up the poet's meter, and lull and lose it in 
a music of its own. Mr. Longfellow refrains, for the 
most part, from attempting to throw any new interpre- 
tative lights on the Scriptures which he adopts and 
adapts, contenting himself with the strictly traditional 
and familiar explanations. In short, there is the least 
possible reminder to one who reads that he is not read- 
ing his Bible. 

This, of course, is either the perfection of art, or 
something else instead, so much more humble as to 
merit being called a process of skilled mechanical pro- 
duction. But to decide which is a problem not likely 
to perplex the minds of those who will read and enjoy 
Mr. Longfellow's poem. 

THE COMING RACE. 

A very remarkable book, which has attracted 
much attention in England, and has been republished 
for American readers by Messrs. Francis B. Felt & Co. 
of this city, is The Coming Race. It is said to be 
from the pen of Mr. Laurence Oliphant, the brilliant 
author of Piccadilly, at one time Member of Par- 
liament for Stirling, in Scotland, and now one of the 
leading members of a religious society at Brocton, on 



the shores of Lake Erie, in this State. The Coin- 
ing Race is an adventure in the field of social specu- 
lation after the manner of the Utopia of Sir Thomas 
More, or the Laputa of Jonathan Swift, and seeks to 
set before us another world than ours, the result of 
scientific progress, in which the inhabitants have at- 
tained unto the highest reach of knowledge. Perhaps 
we ought rather to say the lowest reach, for Mr. Oli- 
phant' s imaginary beings dwell not in another planet, 
but down far below the surface of this earth, our Tel- 
lus of the solar system, where, in sunless seclusion, 
which is not gloom by reason of gas, they live out their 
quiet and somewhat uninteresting existence. The dis- 
covery of this nether land (in some respects, as, for 
example, its placid routine and freedom from mad am- 
bitions and desolating wars, not unlike the Nether- 
lands of our own upper globe) is ingeniously contrived. 

"A native of , in the United States of America," 

visits a coal-mine, no matter where, and, penetrating 
deeply into its recesses, sees, through a natural chasm 
underneath, a great realm lighted by gas-lamps, from 
which he catches at intervals the hum of human voices. 
He determines to explore this wonderful region, and 
the next day, accompanied by a friend, returns, with 
ropes and grappling-hooks of sufficient length and 
strength to enable them to descend to it. The Colum- 
bus of the new realm gets down in safety, but his 
companion falls by the breaking of the rope, and is 
immediately gobbled up by a Saurian. Flying' from 
this monster in terror, our hero comes ere long upon a 
native of the under-world, tall, winged, and with a 
face of sculptured beauty, like the calm, intellectual 
aspect of the Sphinx. By this benevolent being, who 
speaks a language he cannot understand, the stranger 
is led, through fields covered with a lead-colored vege- 
tation, irradiated by gas-light, into a weird city of fan- 
tastic architecture, and little by little learns the whole 
economy of the sphere around him. The pri mum mo- 
bile is a force called Vril, or electricity in its most 
powerful manifestation, by the exercise of which on 
the part of the humblest citizen, the most tremendous 
results may be instantly attained. As a hostile army 
might be utterly annihilated as by a flash of lightning 
with Vril, wars had ceased among the communities 
inhabiting this lower country, and crime had wholly 
disappeared. There were no armies, no police organ- 
izations, no lawyers — all was peace. Only one want 
was felt — light, and the Head Gas- lighter was one of 
the most important personages in the State. Work 
was performed by automata, sickness was unknown. 
The burning heats that we feel on the surface of the 
earth, the fearful tempests that sweep across our seas 
and continents, affected not the Vril-ya, as these peo- 
ple were called, in their quiet land. Life was a dolce 
far niente, literally a sweet do-nothing. 

Our hero was not long in the realm of Vril, how- 
ever, before he became aware of the fact that he might 
at any moment be offered up as a sacrifice to the peculiar 
views of the inhabitants on the subject of food. Vege- 
tarians themselves, they discarded a flesh diet as bar- 



5i° 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



barous, and devoted all carnivorous animals to destruc- 
tion. The stranger's molars would have been conclu- 
sive against him, but for the willingness of the Council 
of Sages to take him on probation, as one who might 
possibly conform to their own usage. Escaping this 
peril he falls into another. The women of "The 
Coming Race," it should be explained, are wiser, 
stronger, larger than the men, and do all the love- 
making. Two of them fall in love with him, and as 
marriage with either would be impossible, he is con- 
demned to die. But the higher nature of the two, 
despairing of a requital of her passion, magnanimously 
cleaves a passage for him through the rocks to the 
upper air, and thus he safely returns to the United 
States after three years of gas-lighted and graminivorous 
experience among the Vril-ya. Such in rapid outline 
is the story and manner of construction of The 
Coming Race. It has wonderful verisimilitude in the 
narration of its wildest improbabilities, recalling the 
style of De Foe ; and the satire of treating our latest 
moral and political expedients as antiquated contriv- 
ances in government and society is very happy and 
effective. There is an apparent confidence in the 
author that electricity will yet work greater wonders 
than are dreamt of in our natural philosophy, but evi- 
dently he does not believe in .any moral force stronger 
than woman' s love, which manifests its unselfish devo- 
tion and asserts its inalienable rights even in that 
serene subterranean realm from which the distracting 
cares and morbid excitements of the upper world are 
forever excluded. 

IS THE SOUL MORTAL? 

A curious illustration of the revival of old ideas in 
modern literature is afforded in a work which is the 
authoritative exponent of the new school of Annihila- 
tionists — a school so old that it is new, for it is a thou- 
sand years and more since it once before claimed audi- 
ence from the Christian world. This book, on The 
Duration and Nature of Future Punishment, is by 
the English Prebendary of Cork, Henry Constable, 
A.M.; it has lately been reprinted here, — edited, and 
somewhat condensed and otherwise modified, — by C. C. 
Chatfield & Co., of New Haven, a Yale professor in- 
troducing and indorsing it. Mr. Constable, Professor 
Ives, and their school would have Christians believe 
that immortality is their heritage alone, basing their 
argument upon their conception of the Divine justice, 
and upon their literal interpretation of the "second 
death" prophesied in revelation. This doctrine, it is 
claimed, was held by the earliest Fathers in the purest 
age of the Church, and names of such venerable weight 
as those of Irenseus, Justin Martyr, and Clement of 
Alexandria are adduced in the list of its upholders. 
Whether they taught this will be quite as much a mat- 
ter of dispute as whether it is taught directly in the 
Bible. The Annihilationists claim both, and further, 
that the Platonic dogma of the immortality of the 
soul was the very "philosophy" against which Paul 
warned the early Christians. 

But Plato and his followers are not alone in this be- | 



lief, and indeed, the denial of the soul's essential im- 
mortality shakes faith in the whole province of "intui- 
tive" conceptions, upon which all our philosophy, all 
our thoughts, we may almost say all our faith, are built. 
For that the spirit shall never die has been, in some 
shape or another, the belief of the most savage as well 
as of the most cultivated races. "What God has 
given, God can take," is a plausible cry of the Annihi- 
lationists ; but this dictum is only to be relegated to 
the realms of the Unknowable, and it is safe to trust 
to the faith He has implanted in us — that the soul, in 
whatever state, lives forever. Christianity is founded 
upon both natural and revealed religion ; if we thus 
give the lie to the natural, how long will it be ere we 
doubt the revealed. ■ 

The weakness of the Biblical reasoning of this school 
is that it proves too much ; they insist upon the virtual 
rendering of figurative expressions, and are far too 
ingenious in evading several passages which on this 
plan of interpretation tell against them. As, for in- 
stance, the phrase " everlasting burnings" ! But their 
explanation of the Divine justice of annihilation, if 
Mr. Constable be not disowned by the school for his 
bad logic, is alone sufficient to cast suspicion upon all 
their argument. Death, they say, is universally recog- 
nized as the most awful of punishments, and the more 
awful is it as more of life is to be taken away. Thus 
he who dies first, losing most of the future, is the 
worst punished. And immediately following this is 
the declaration that the ignorant, and therefore (it is 
said) so far blameless, heathen are to be put to death 
of the spirit before the Judgment of the good and bad 
who have known the light ! There are few writers 
so content to furnish refutation in the same page with 
fallacy. 

This doctrine of the annihilation of the souls of the 
wicked would indeed seem to be alike contradictory of 
natural religion, the common faith of men, and of the 
Bible as God has permitted it to be understood by 
those wisest of many generations, and by many gen- 
erations of Christians. There is as yet no show of 
evidence sufficient to offset this verdict of the world 
and the ages. 

THE "ONE GREAT FORCE." 

All that the ancient philosopher asked was a place 
to rest his lever and he would move the world. All 
that a good many would-be modern philosophers ask 
is something that will be everything and do every- 
thing, and they will explain the universe off-hand. 
One can do it with "electricity ; " not the electricity 
that other men recognize, but a miraculous sort of 
electricity that will answer every requisition that may 
be laid upon it. Another can account for all things 
by "gravitation," provided you allow gravitation to 
be sufficiently protean in character. Another asks 
nothing but "heat;" which, however, is not the limited 
factor that others know, but something that is at will 
all the forces, all the modes of motion, everything 
known or unknown, conceivable or inconceivable, 
that the universe affords. Mr. Crisfield Johnson 



CULTURE AND PROGRESS AT HOME. 



5ii 



thinks he holds the key of creation in caloric, by which 
he means not only all that was understood by " calor- 
ic*" before that once honored term was laid away in 
oblivion with the other names of nonentities gone out 
of fashion, but everything else. His caloric is a sub- 
tile, eternal, omnipresent, self-repellent fluid, the 
"cause of gravitative planetary motion, heat, light, 
electricity, magnetism, chemical affinity, and other natu- 
ral phenomena," as he modestly asserts on the title-page 
of his One Great Force (Buffalo : Breed and Lent). 

To men of ordinary genius, the impossibility of 
proving the existence of such a universal motor griev- 
ously interferes with their easy progress ; but to men 
like Mr. Johnson such a difficulty never occurs. The 
fact that they cannot explain things without it, is 
proof enough that it must exist. That settled, all is 
plain sailing. When an otherwise unaccountable 
phenomenon turns up, all they have to say is, " Noth- 
ing but — jigger -jigger — can do that !" or, " If jigger- 
jigger cannot account for that, what can ? " and the 
rash objector is confounded by his own ignorance. 
Unfortunately, however, such philosophers can rarely 
content themselves with this achievement. They 
must undertake to tell how jigger-jigger acts, and 
then they are outrageously funny. They will go on, 
page after page, contradicting themselves and every 
other phenomenon of nature with a serenity that is all 
but sublime. Mr. Johnson's effort is an admirable 
type of productions of this class of self-elected re- 
formers, who think they can set Newton, and Fara- 
day, and Tyndall, and all the other scientists to rights 
without first mastering the rudiments of science. 

"SCHOOL-HOUSES." 

Alfred Wallace asserts that many of the lower 
orders of creation exhibit individually as much in- 
dependence in the construction of houses as man 
does in his : that men go on from generation to gen- 
eration copying inherited models as blindly as birds 
and beavers. If he had ever traveled in this country, 
the naturalist would probably have cited in proof of 
this- observation the progress of the primitive Yankee 
school-house across the continent. The bees that 
lead civilization westward are not more conservative 
in their building instincts than the carpenters that 
follow. Everywhere from Maine to Minnesota the 
traveler will find at road-crossings the same nonde- 
script structures too small for barns, too ill-propor- 
tioned for dwellings, too much neglected and desolate 
for out-lying farm buildings, indeed " too repulsive in 
all respects and exhibiting too many marks of parsi- 
mony to be anything but" — school-houses. 

Public architecture — barring always the new court- 
house — is not our stronghold ; nor is it likely to be, so 
long as the first impressions of the building art are 
gained, as a rule, from public structures so wretchedly 
unartistic as the average school-house. However 
just may be our national pride in our common schools, 
the housing of them redounds very little to our cred- 
it ; as many of us became painfully aware four years 
ago at the Paris Exposition. A grand idea was prob- 



ably never more pitifully represented than when an 
ugly little wooden school-house was sent all the way 
from the interior of Illinois to the Champs de Mars, 
to show • the assembled world our high regard for 
popular education. A Webster's spelling-book would 
have been as felicitous a representative of the results 
of national culture. Yet, bad as it was, the sample — 
to use a commercial figure — was far too good to repre- 
sent fairly the character of the stock. It was new and 
clean ; and happily it was impossible to transport 
the forlorn and unsightly surroundings of the average 
school. 

The sound advice which Mr. Johonnot gives in his 
handsome work on school architecture {School Houses : 
J. W. Schermerhorn & Co.) touching the structure, 
furnishing, situation, and adornment of school buildings, 
will go far, it is to be hoped, to make it possible for 
us to send a typical school-house to some future Expo- 
sition without being so roundly and so deservedly 
laughed at. His book should be in the hands of every 
school committee, not because it is precisely what it 
should be, but because it is the only work that at- 
tempts to give the instruction on this subject so sadly 
needed by school officers the country over. If com- 
mittee-men and carpenters will take care to follow the 
author's suggestions, and equal care to shun the curi- 
ously ugly designs that Mr. Hewes has invented to 
illustrate the work (in imitation of "examples in false 
syntax" given in grammars, we suppose), a blessed 
reformation may be inaugurated in the external fea- 
tures of our country schools. The chapters on light- 
ing, heating, and ventilating school-rooms are calcu- 
lated to do much good. Mr. Johonnot adopts the 
principles of ventilation enforced by Mr. Lewis W. 
Leeds, and copies several of his admirable colored 
illustrations of the movements of hot and cold currents. 
The sensible chapter on out-buildings is especially 
praiseworthy. 

"how to do it." 

In telling the young folks How to Do it (J. R. Os- 
good & Co.), Mr. Hale has gone over a worn-out 
field, and made it blossom like a clover lot. He has 
a happy knack at giving sound advice in palatable 
doses ; and by introducing his exemplars in the guise 
of natural boys and girls, he gives a dramatic point 
and force to his instructions that cannot fail to charm 
as well as instruct the young reader. In sixteen spicy 
chapters the conduct of juvenile life, — how to live, 
how to talk, how to read and write, how to go into 
society, how to travel, how to behave at home, at 
school, in church, — everything, in fact, that civilized 
boys and girls are expected to do, is reviewed and il- 
lustrated in a style as sensible as it is breezy and de- 
lightful. The chapter on going into society is special- 
ly admirable. The sunshine of Christianity is Mr. 
Hale's social motive power, and the four rules of his 
philosophy are, to look up and not down, forward and 
not backward, out and not in, and to lend a hand. 
The application of these rules to juvenile life forms, 
in a double sense, a good part of the book. 



5i2 



ETCHINGS. 




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